Parking problems ensue
As drivers struggle to find parking off campus, students and administration work to find solutions. | Eliana Park/THE CHIMES
Since parking by the La Mirada apartments has persisted as a problem for years, Student Government Association senators, Campus Safety and facilities management continue to work together to find a solution.
alleviating congestion in the parking lots
As a team, they hope to educate students on the existing solutions, including the available parking on campus paired with riding the shuttle, Campus Safety escorts and parking on the opposite side of homes. These temporary solutions will help alleviate congestion in the parking lots, according to East Block senator and junior Christian ministries major Megan Collins.
“So although they want to accommodate the students as best they can, even the accommodations they have now already have caused people in the neighborhood to have a little tension, and so they don’t want to continue to push the boundaries of that and really there’s just a lack of space,” Collins said.
Brian Phillips, director of facilities management, also explained the situation with the apartment parking as challenging.
“We’re taking an apartment that was originally intended to house maybe one single family per unit and now we have as many as four students who might each have their own personal vehicle living in that same unit that was designed for a family that had maybe trash cans and causes them problems,” Phillips said.
a limited amount of space
With a limited amount of space close to the apartments, students park in the neighborhood in front of people’s homes despite the available spots across the street not in front of people’s homes, according to Phillips. The homeowners have complained about students parking in front of their homes, specifically De Alcala Drive, on and off over the past few years.
“The neighbors there have been complaining heavily. They threatened to file a complaint with the city and petition the city to make that entire street a permit only parking because there’s some areas within La Mirada and some areas around in campus where residents are beginning to petition and they’ve been successful,” said Chief John Ojeisekhoba of Campus Safety.
If students continue to park their cars in front of homes and the street becomes permit only parking, up to 40 or 50 students will have no place to park their car, according to Ojeisekhoba. Both Campus Safety and facilities hope students will stop parking there after receiving courtesy notices from Campus Safety.
“Loving your neighbor is a scriptural mandate and one of the ways we can show love for our neighbors is to not park in front of their houses, particularly in ways that crowd their driveways or trash cans and causes them problems,” Phillips said.
Facilities management has not forgotten parking on campus, either. They observe parking spots every month during peak hours and days. One of the ways facilities continues to work on the issue of parking is by creating student spaces based on growth and listening to faculty as to where to increase parking availability.
Students in lower campus, including sophomore English major Rylie Christian and junior kinesiology major Riley Waldeck, see parking in parking structure E as accessible, but parking in front of the dorms remains difficult.
“At least in the lot down on lower campus there’s a lot of spots that they are labelled as compact spots, but even the compact cars are pretty tight in there, so maybe taking out one or two of those spots just to make room because throughout any given night there will be maybe three to four spots that are open but just no vehicle is able to fit in that,” Waldeck said.