OPINION: Finding parking at college is a nightmare

Because Parking lot 5 is closed for the construction of the new Science building, finding a parking spot on campus has become difficult. /SADDLEBACK.EDU

Because Parking lot 5 is closed for the construction of the new Science building, finding a parking spot on campus has become difficult. /SADDLEBACK.EDU

Life in college is nice—entertaining and rewarding—but not when in comes to find a parking space.

With all the construction going on at Saddleback College,  there are fewer spaces available for the thousands of students enrolled for the spring 2014 semester.

It is 9 a.m., usually is not a big deal to find a parking space, of course, if you  make it before 8 a.m., said, Aly Jane, a 20-year-old architecture major. Jane usually parks in Lot 7, which is located on the northwest side of the Learning Resource Center and a little walk up the hill for about seven to 15 minutes, depending on how far in the lot you manage to park.

Construction of the new Science Building is what is causing all this commotion, according to Christopher Wilkinson, chief of Campus Police.

“The projected completion date for the [the 51,244 square foot, three-floor science building] is for the end of 2015,” Wilkinson said. “But campus security has taken all the measures to make the transition easier for students and staff.”

The students who are enrolled in the 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. classes take all the spaces available around campus. If students have classes after that, let’s say by 9 a.m., they have to park in the Village, Jane said.

“If your classes  are after that, the only place you can find parking is in the Village, which is about a seven-minute walk,” Jane said.

Jane said she usually comes one hour early to find parking and uses the extra hour to study.

Photo by Marivel Guzman Parking lot 7 South East of LRC by 9 a:m

Photo by Marivel Guzman
Parking lot 7 South East of LRC by 9 a:m

I asked a few questions to students trying to find the best strategy to score a parking space, and pretty much all have the same answer, come very early before class.

Michael Carson,  a 26-year-old engineering major, said he makes sure he take classes in the morning so he can find parking,  “and come early on top of that before everybody gets here,”  he said. He has found a secure spot in the Village next to Lots 1 and 2, a long walk but he has no other choice.

Students are parking in the 15 minute-designed waiting lines as a last resort to park and reach class on time. A student temporarily parked in a red zone, waiting for classes to end at 11:45 a.m., said parking would open up after that.

About 240 new spaces were added to offset the closure of Lot 5 along West College dr. Photo/Marivel Guzman

About 240 new spaces were added to offset the closure of Lot 5 along West College dr.
Photo/Marivel Guzman

Aden Marshal, a 20-years-old environmental studies major, said usually the first couple of weeks are pretty bad with parking and then gets easier later on

Then I can wake up later,” Marshal said, laughing.

“People leave for lunch and by 9 o’clock there still be few parking spot here [Lots 1 and 2] when Athletics come to class they get all the parking spaces,” Jane said.  “All the teachers are cool with students coming few minutes late for class because they know the parking problem.”

Wilkinson said Village parking lot is very good option, there is always parking available throughout the day.

For the first two weeks, Wilkinson said that staff were in the roads directing the students to the Village and Lot 5A, but “still you see students going in circles.”

Staff parking is widely available, students and teachers have the same right to have parking space in campus, but Marshal said that teachers are more important than students

“If the students come late to class, that does not matter,  but if the teacher don’t make it to class, that’s like all the students don’t make it to class,” Marshal said.

Photo by Marivel Guzman Bottom of the hill, on College Drive West students are forced to park on the side o the road.

Bottom of the hill, on College Drive West the no parking stall were cover to open more parking spaces.
Photo/Marivel Guzman

A site survey was done by a parking consulting firm to place the emergency parking for students and staff during construction, and to open up more temporary  parking, Wilkinson said.

“To help with the security at campus, our police department has 11 sworn police officers working 24/7 ’round the clock,” Wilkinson said.

He added there is one full-time Community Services Officer, also mentioning that Mission Viejo was ranked California’s safest city in 2013.

“There is a five to 10 minute walk from the Village, cutting through the gym there is a service road,” Wilkinson said.

He said by the end of December when the construction is finished, there will be plenty of temporary parking

“Then in the next couple years there will be permanent parking,” Wilkinson said.

 

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments

comments