Parking. Or lack thereof. It’s a sensitive topic on the California Lutheran University campus as students wonder whether there is an end in sight to the problem.
The administration is making advances to free up parking, but it will not free up spots within the next academic year. During the October meeting of the Board of Regents, the Regents discussed moving some CLU offices off campus, which would free up parking.
“They approved exploring a lease for building off-campus where we might move some offices from here, to free up more space,” President Chris Kimball said.
The movement of these offices would clear some parking spots for students and faculty.
According to Ryan Van Ommeren, associate vice president of facilities, there are approximately 2,391 parking spaces available throughout campus. Of those parking spots, 251 are restricted from student use, reserved for faculty and visitors, or are handicapped or reserved spots.
“There are no current plans to build additional spaces, but the planned relocation of moving offices off campus will result in around 25 less people needing parking on campus,” Van Ommeren said.
This will make a grand total of 2, 165 spots available for students.
However, this issue is not a cause of concern for the Board of Regents at this time.
“It’s always on peoples’ minds, but it’s really no different from any other year,” Kimball said. “Parking, people always feel stressed by it, especially in the beginning of the year, in the fall. But, people want to be close to where they work, be close to class, nobody likes to walk, they want to be able to park and be able to arrive at the last minute to get there and that’s just not always possible.”
Despite the struggle, tickets are still given out to students who park in restricted areas.
“The Director of Campus Safety, Fred Miller, will fairly hear any protest. It is important, however, that the protest be filed quickly after receipt of the ticket,” Van Ommeren said.
To free up space and help with the impacted parking, students are encouraged to carpool, walk or bike to campus.
“I personally bike or carpool to campus three to four days a week and would love others to make the same commitment,” Van Ommeren said.
“Last year wasn’t a problem,” said junior commuter Chad Odahara. “This year, if I want to find a space on the classroom side of campus I have to come a few hours early. I end up driving in circles, dealing with all the other frustrated drivers and I end up parking by the pool on north campus.”
Sarah de la Garrigue
Published Nov. 13, 2013