By Marriya Ahumada
You fight the traffic to make it on campus and by the time you get there, you have five minutes before your class starts.
When you pull into the lot, you then have to compete against your peers for a parking space. You loop around a few times hoping you’ll see one you missed or by some miracle someone will leave and give you the space.
And now you’re late to class.
Is the new lot construction turning all the other parking lots into a parking nightmare? With construction on lots seven and eight, it’s become harder for some students to find parking.
Parking lot seven has been closed since the spring 2018 semester, and more than 31,000 on-campus students are having to get to class much earlier to find parking during prime class times.
As a result of losing 700 parking spaces, some students have had to switch their classes to a different time slot. For some, these efforts may have been for nothing.
“The first two weeks of class it was hard to find parking in the morning,” said Sophia Aguilar, a COC student. “But after that I guess people dropped or switched classes because I don’t have trouble finding parking for my 8 a.m. anymore.”
Because of the construction, the school has provided resources to make getting to class easier, such as making parking free after 2 p.m.
A parking section has been dedicated to those who carpool, with parking lot 4 designated as a carpool-only lot.
The lot entrance is staffed, and they watch for non carpool cars trying to sneak in.
The school is also providing a business account that pays for $5 on any Uber or Lyft rides going to or from COC. This account can be used more than once a day and there is no limit on how many days in a row it can be used.
“I use the Uber code COC provided and I get $5 off every ride going to or from campus,” said Rachel Steiger, a sociology student. “It helps to not have to find parking two days a week.”
Parking is said to not be hard to find for classes at 8 a.m. or 12:30 p.m., but students and professors going to classes at all other times say it’s more difficult to slip in and find parking easily without coming early.
“It fluctuates,” said Joelle Ellis, photography student. “Since I leave at different times each day, I actually know the majority of people take classes in the morning; by 8:30 the parking lots are pretty full, at least the smallish one I go to, but from what I see it’s universal until about noon, then it dies down for a couple hours and then around four to five it picks up again, because of the night classes.”
The parking construction may have taken its toll on students, but it has affected professors and staff as well. Some of the staff lots have been converted into student parking which means the professors and other staff will have to fight for their parking too.
The staff parking in Parking lot 2, located off College Circle at Rockwell Canyon Road, has been converted into a student parking lot. It is said to remain so until the parking structure is completed.
“On Mondays and Wednesdays I usually arrive at 12:30 p.m. or one o’clock,” said Jim Keller, English Professor. “The more time I have left myself the easier it is to find parking, the days when I’m slipping in five minutes before class there’s never a space, never ever a space. It’s definitely worse this semester. It has everything to do with the parking construction.”
Once the new parking structure is completed and opened with even more parking spaces available, the staff lots will be returned and the struggle to find parking will hopefully come to an end.
Though it was planned for ground to break on the new lot structure in the Fall of 2017, it was pushed back until Spring 2018. As of right now, the lot construction is still said to be completed and opened by Spring of 2019.