With the glut of new students on campus this fall, the small University’s challenging parking situation has become even more challenging.
Students say they are forced to come to school 30 minutes before class just to find parking.
“I had to park as far as the mail room,” Kristen Pleasant, a senior legal studies major, who lives in Vista La Verne said, adding that she hopes the University will add another parking lot, or structure.
If the school can not provide more parking she does not think first year students should be permitted to have cars on campus, Pleasant said.
Jovanni Valdez, junior business major, also thinks freshmen should not be able to have cars their first year.
“I think it has gotten worse, there are a lot more cars and a lot more students,” she said. “It takes me about 15 minutes just to find parking.”
With just more than 1,100 parking spots on campus total, “Driving around campus to try to get a parking spot adds to the stress of the day,” said Nellie Ruiz, a junior criminology major.
“I have an 8 a.m. class and I still have to spend 20 minutes searching for parking,” said Mumin Khan, sophomore computer science major said.
“I spent almost $100 on a parking pass and cannot find anywhere to park,” Khan said.
With parking passes at $95 a year, or $50 for a semester, some students feel the increase might have helped the parking crunch by driving some people out of campus parking.
“Making parking passes more expensive helps, I guess,” Esmerelda sanchez, junior biology major, said.
Though Sanchez also said the parking situation has gotten worse over the years.
“It’s hectic whatever time of day,” Sanchez said. “I even notice at night even if it is 10 p.m. it is ful.”
Sanchez thinks commuters should take advantage of the remote parking lot.
This would be a good idea because on-campus residents who use the remote parking would have to return at night to move their cars back on campus.
Jeffery Clark, associate director of campus safety, explained that the remote parking lot is open Monday through Friday from 6:45 a.m. to 10:45 p.m., and it has a security officer there all day. No permit is required to park in the remote lot.
Shuttle parking is located at 1923 A Street, just south of Arrow Highway, and the drop-off point on campus is located in Parking Lot D behind Vista La Verne.
Shuttles pick up passengers every five minutes at both locations.
Not everyone likes the remote parking, said senior psychology major Matthew Harvis.
He said the shuttle lot is too far away and since he is normally on campus past 11 p.m. he would have to stop what he was doing to move his car.
“The shuttle parking is kind of dinky,” Harvis said. “I really wish the school would sell the city’s parking permits along with the school’s parking passes.”
Harvis said he usually parks on A Street because there is always parking and permits are not required.
Since students are forced to park on the streets, visitors find it hard to find parking.
“I visit one to two times a week and spend anywhere from just a few minutes to 30 minutes depending on the day,” Ryan Sandoval, a resident of Fontana said.
He also has the same idea as Pleasant and thinks that the University should build a parking structure or another lot.
Sandoval said he has heard that the city may not support a parking structure because it would not look nice.
He said that they could build the structure underground.
An underground structure would not necessarily be an eyesore and would also make it easier to manage the safety and entrance aspect.
“I’ve seen parking structures three stories underground before,” Sandoval said. “They could make it look nice by adding panels so it just isn’t a cement building.”
Clark said there is a master plan to build a parking structure but that might not happen for several years.
He said it was all about the budget.
Jessica Alberts, a junior English major, said her car got locked in the shuttle parking lot one night because she could not make it back to the lot on time to move it.
“I thought the shuttles stopped at 10:45 p.m., not that the lot closed,” said Alberts.
She said if you cannot go get to your car on time then it is stuck their overnight and runs the risk of being ticketed.
She thinks the signs need to be more obvious and clear to students who use the lot.
Alberts saved herself a ticket and a tow because she was able to get to the lot early enough the next day, but she did not save herself from a lecture by Campus Safety.
“I am really active on campus,” Alberts said. “I do not have time to waste by moving my car.”
Erica Maurice can be reached at email@example.com.