With the opening of Ullman Commons came the addition of green parking spaces for fuel efficient cars on Memorial parkway.
The spaces came with the commons as part of the energy efficient focus of the building, according to Fred Miller, director of campus safety. There are similar green spaces located by the Swenson Center. They encourage students to drive more environmentally friendly cars by reserving prime spaces for those who do.
Haco Hoang, a professor at California Lutheran University, said she parks in them “everyday if they are available,” with her Prius. She takes advantage of the spaces that are close to Swenson and her classes.
According to greencars.org, energy efficient buildings are eligible to include these special “upgraded” spaces for certified cars, since both the building and the cars are focused on environmental conservation.
Like Ullman Commons, “Swenson is a LEED certified building so they are required to meet the standards,” Hoang said.
To park in these green spots, one must drive a hybrid or electric car or have a car that scores a 45 or higher on the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) vehicle rating guide.
This guide rates cars for air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The lower those two factors are, the higher the score.
Many cars qualify depending on their year and make. Honda Civics and Accords usually qualify, as well as newer Volskwagen Passats. A 2015 Ford Focus has a score of 46 and would qualify while a 2008 Ford Focus only scores a 44 and would not.
To look up your car, you can visit campus safety to view their book or visit http://greenercars.org/news-resources/ resources.
Flex Fuel Vehicles may or may not meet the minimum score of 45, according to an email sent out to the California Lutheran University community, so it is best for the owners of those cars to check their score with campus safety.
“Any car that says on the outside electric or hybrid normally classifies [for the green spaces] but in case that they don’t have the branding on the outside … we have a hangtag that we issue them so that way we can better enforce those areas,” said Tyler Grant, Operations Assistant at campus safety.
If your car does qualify, you can visit campus safety to get a hangtag for the green parking spaces. Hybrid and electric cars however do not need the tag.
“The green spaces are enforced as if they are a standard C or S permit because they’re in those same areas,” Grant said.
From 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. commuters and staff who have a hangtag, hybrid or electric vehicle may take advantage of the parking spaces. In the evenings and on the weekend, though, the spaces are free game to anyone. Miller said this is because the campus is less busy during those times and parking is not as big of an issue.
“In the evenings I wouldn’t say that we’re too strict in that area just because traffic, you know, loosens up a bit,” Grant said.
Despite the green spaces and energy efficient buildings, Cal Lutheran has yet to include charging stations for electric cars. There have been inquiries on the subject but no firm plans for the future.
Students and staff still may be able to work something out. “We have had a couple of people come in and ask us about it,” Grand said. “But we normally just route them up to Ryan [Van Ommeren] ‘cause he’s Fred [Miller’s] boss and then they can kind of see if they can work out an arrangement with them.”
For any questions on parking and green space eligibility, visit Campus Safety.
Published April 29th, 2015