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Disabled parking limited on campus

Students and faculty have trouble finding accessible parking spaces.

The lack of parking spots on campus also affects disabled people, as there is a lack of disability parking on campus.

The lack of parking spots on campus also affects disabled people, as there is a lack of disability parking on campus.

Trang Le

Trang Le

The lack of parking spots on campus also affects disabled people, as there is a lack of disability parking on campus.

Caitlyn Mendoza, Staff Writer

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Finding parking at Cal State Long Beach is typically an issue for most students and employees, even with 4,777 general parking spots for students, 1,953 spots for employees and 238 disabled spots on campus.

There are such a small amount of handicapped spaces for a campus with a student body of 40,000 strong can cause problems for those like junior, Nathan Ortez, who is in a walking boot after foot surgery.

Ortez said he was given a handicap parking permit for the semester by CSULB Transportation and Parking Services, as well as an employee pass to enter the employee parking lots in the event that general lots did not have accessible spaces open.

Ortez said he was looking for a disabled parking spot in early October and none were available.

All they told me that [my handicap pass] was valid in employee lots and they gave me another employee pass so I could get into the lots,” he said. “The told me [to] park in the employee lots, display your handicap permit and display your white [placard] that they gave me.”

With no disabled spaces available, Ortez decided to park in a faculty spot as because of the bottom of his permit it said: permit valid in only employee or general spaces.

When he came back to his car, Ortez said he saw a parking citation for no permit displayed.He said he was confused and went to the office of transportation and parking services to discuss this citation issue and was directed by parking officials to go online and contest the citation.

Ortez said he hoped it would be be just a misunderstanding and his ticket would be cleared.

However, his contest was rejected due to lack of evidence. Ortez decided to clear this issue up with an admission hearing. He showed all his evidence and explained why he ended up parking in the faculty spot, due to no handicap spaces being available that day.

“I heard back via email, [which said] ‘you’ve been shot down,’ and you’re still being charged the $50,” Ortez said.

However, he noticed that what they sent him, didn’t match his original citation.

“All it said [was,]‘well because since you parked in faculty and not in handicap spot, thats why we wrote you the ticket. Not because of anything of you not having a permit [like the original],’” he said. They totally sidestep the original citation and ended up emailing something about completely different.”

Not only are disabled students having parking issues, but faculty as well.

Journalism professor Chris Karadjov is one of the faculty members who struggles with this daily. Karadjov uses a wheelchair and not only needs a disabled parking spot, but one with enough room to unload his chair out of his van.

Its not about being close to something, Ive parked far away [before], I need the spot because if I park in a regular parking spot, its too small or I cannot get out or I block the person on my right side,” he said. “[Then I’m] left with angry notes saying they can’t get into their driver side.

He said it can take up almost 30 minutes to find a disabled spot that is suitable.

Karadjov admitted that parking has gotten better over the years, but he said there is still a lot of work that can be done. He believes there are different ways to approach this problem and solve it.

The better approach for this situation is to talk, to see how many people need this specific

type of parking, have a survey, make contacts to the individual and maybe spend some time individualizing come up with some ideas with some arrangements that is more to the needs,” Karadjov said.

He also believes how following state codes is not going to solve the problem of creating enough handicaps spaces for everyone, paying attention and seeking what is actually needed will.

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