The automobile is an American symbol of independence, but on campus, it has become the symbol of inconvenience. “Looking for parking” has become one of the most popular excuses to be late to class. Students who drive to the college have few options when it comes to parking, as both campuses pose unique obstacles.
At the LAC, designated parking exists in the five-level parking structure or on the lot behind Veterans Stadium. The parking structure “fills up early,” Arely Corona, 18, a biology major, said, “If I get there around 7:30, I can park on level 3 or 4, but after 8, I can only park on the top level.”
Unlike the structure, Veterans Stadium lot has plenty of room, but it’s a walk, students say. According to Google Maps, the A Building is located about 0.7 miles from the lot. Students must decide between searching for a spot in the structure and getting a sure spot at Veterans Stadium, making for a sure walk to class.
It’s a known fact that exercise relieves stress, and as many students have found out, parking creates it. By simply parking at Veterans Stadium, students could rid themselves of the daily battle over spots in the structure and allow for a healthy release of dopamine by walking. Who wants to sit all day anyway, between cars seats and desk chairs? The stroll from Veterans Stadium to class could actually be enjoyable.
Chasen Landry, 20, a communications major, found his own solution to parking. “Last semester I bought a parking pass and parked at Veterans Stadium. This semester, I realized I can park on Centralia Street, which is outside the ticket zoning area. Either way I’d have to walk a half mile to class. Now I save $30.”
By finding creative solutions to everlasting issues, Landry and other students parking outside the no-parking zones are getting exercise and saving money.
Parking is also tight at the PCC due to the extensive construction obstructing the lots. Also, 109 parking spots are scheduled to open upon completion of the construction projects, which should provide relief to student drivers.
Parking is not the only problem. Some drivers who drop off students do not use the designated drop-off zones. At the LAC, students are commonly dropped curbside on Faculty Avenue, which is not a designated zone, or even at the bus inlets, which is completely illegal. The LAC designated drop-off zone is located off Clark Avenue in front of the parking structure. The PCC has a designated drop-off on PCH between buildings CC and LL.
The parking struggle is real. Some student drivers will show up early, some will walk, and some will go beyond ticket zones. Still, some will be ever-late.