Our View: Got 99 problems and finding parking is one
Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 22:09
Got parking problems?
So does everyone else.
In case you have not noticed, the parking lots seem extra crowded this semester. This is not just because we have an extra 1,500 students on campus but because there is no cap on how many parking passes can be sold.
According to the Parking and Transportation Services at Cal State Long Beach, there are 14,020 available spaces across campus. This year alone, about 21,000 parking passes have been sold, 4,000 of them being annual passes. That number might still be growing.
At $123 for each semester pass, it is no wonder why our school would want to sell as many of these parking permits as possible. It is a great source of revenue.
Yet, knowing there are not enough spaces for the amount of permits sold is concerning. We pay a lot for these permits and even spend extra on gas after circling the lots until spots open up.
So, should there be a cap on how many permits could be sold?
This is tough to say. A cap would change the system to be on a first come, first serve basis.
Because we are mainly a commuter school, the demand to have a parking pass is much higher. How could this be fair? We all need parking passes, and there just is not enough space.
However, the cap may be the only suitable option, besides building more parking spots.
With a well announced cap, students desperately needing the pass would clamber quickly to pick up one of the prized permits.
It would also encourage others to search for alternative modes of transportation, like buses, carpool, zip car or bicycles. Long Beach does have a great bike rental system now.
Yet, a cap is just as unlikely to happen as constructing more parking spots. Where would the money and space for this project come from?
Thus, we must stick to our own varying strategies of how to promptly find a spot before we are late for class.
A quick hint: never venture into one of the parking garages if they look full. Early birds may be able to park there safely, but once late morning classes roll around, do not even bother.
Not only will you not find a spot as you spiral all the way to the top, but you will spend an hour waiting in line as the many people in front of you snag the only spots left available. Instead, you will spend many miserable minutes circling all the way to the bottom of the garage as you contemplate whether it is worth it to arrive half way through class.
The best practice is to circle the flat lots.
They may hold less vehicles than the structures and you may have to park further away, but there are less vultures circling this area. You will have better luck.