One concern which is always on students’ minds is the parking at UC Irvine. It takes a new quarter in a new year to realize what needs to be improved. Not only has parking not improved, but it has gotten significantly worse.
Depending on what time you arrive on campus, it can take more than 45 minutes to find a parking spot. This means that students have to leave an hour and a half (sometimes earlier, depending on where they’re commuting from) before their class just to find a parking spot to get to class on time.
Parking availability has decreased because short-term metered parking spots have increased. Furthermore, parking ticket machines have replaced meters. It’s a hassle to walk from your car to the machine and then back to your car to put the ticket on your dashboard. In large lots, such as Lot 16, this can take up to five minutes.
Commuters aren’t the only people affected by the parking at UCI. Residents have to struggle as well.
For example, as luxurious as Vista Del Campo is, it does not have nearly as many parking spaces as it does residents. There are a few visitor parking spots sprinkled throughout, but otherwise, visitors and residents must park in Lot 1B by the police station, which can result in a 10-minute walk. Furthermore, the price for an annual resident permit is $50 more than it was last year, but the increase in price does not mean an increase in parking spots.
Residents also have to deal with countless parking rules. For example, residents are not allowed to park in any Main Campus parking structures and are only allowed to park in Main Campus lots after 4 p.m. Neither can residents park in the ARC lot between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m.
The complaints about parking are endless and the obvious solution would be to add more parking spots, which the Parking and Transportation Services Office is claiming to do. However, there have not been any results.
Lot 18C has been closed for several months now. UCI’s goal is to build the Engineering Parking Structure in that lot, but construction doesn’t seem to be progressing. The structure’s date of completion is constantly being pushed back and is now slated for December 2005. The very least UCI could do is keep its deadlines.
No one has forgotten Irvine Meadows West, either. Petitions were passed around, students were protesting, arrests were made, residents were finally evacuated, but the lot has yet to be completed. One would think that all the trouble over IMW was for an enormous parking lot, but it turns out that it is going to be a gravel lot, and even that hasn’t been completed yet.
Another solution would be to prohibit freshmen from bringing cars to campus. Not only is Mesa Court and Middle Earth right on campus and freshman can walk a short distance to campus, but schools such as UCLA sell parking permits based on class standing, employment and academic obligations and commuter distance.
It seems that parking will always be a problem at UCI, but there are many ways that Parking and Transportation can soothe students’ parking woes.
Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, year and major.