Vista del Campo Road, also known as Palo Verde Road, opened for traffic on Oct. 23, providing an additional outlet from Arroyo Drive onto Culver Drive. The road was barricaded where it intersects Culver Drive while the city of Irvine widened Culver Drive from Campus Drive to Shady Canyon.
According to Kirk Streets, senior project manager of the Project Management Division for Public Works, the project, which includes landscaping, one additional car lane and two added bike lanes in each direction, is 99 percent complete. The construction crews are demobilizing, and the entire project is scheduled to finish by Nov. 30.
Alex Rubio, resident director for Vista del Campo Apartments, was happy to see the opening of the road because the community had been waiting for the outlet.
‘[The road provides] Vista del Campo and Norte residents easier access in and out of the area,’ Rubio said.
While the road was barricaded, Vista del Campo residents used it as a supplementary parking lot. However, on Oct. 19, residents were informed that parking along the road would be prohibited by California Vehicle Code 22659 21113a, which states that ‘all roads are fire lanes.’ The new parking restriction has resulted in the loss of approximately 30 parking spaces available to Vista del Campo undergraduate residents.
Both Vista del Campo and Vista del Campo Norte are on-campus apartments privately owned and managed by American Campus Communities, a nationwide college housing development agency. Vista del Campo, which was completed in August 2004, houses 1488 students and is currently at 99.4 percent capacity, according to Dennis McCauliff, regional vice president and designated spokesperson for Vista del Campo and Vista del Campo Norte.
Zoned lots provide parking for 75 percent of Vista del Campo’s total housing capacity. Permits are allotted on a ‘first come, first served’ basis determined by the dates that students’ leases are signed and turned into the Vista del Campo housing office at no extra cost to residents.
According to UC Irvine’s Department of Parking and Transportation, which enforces and manages the Vista del Campo parking lots, residents who do not receive permits can purchase permits to park ‘exclusively in Lot 1B at a cost of $66 per month.’ This lot, which is located on Campus Drive across from Albertsons, provides 24-hour parking for permit holders.
In addition, undergraduate Vista del Campo residents without residential parking permits may obtain ‘evening commuter permits’ that allow students to park their vehicles in general commuter stalls. These permits are available for $24 per month but are not valid on campus on weekdays before 5 p.m.
The Department of Parking and Transportation and the Vista del Campo staff attempted to increase the availability of zoned parking spaces in Vista Del Campo residential lots by monitoring the number of available spaces during peak hours.
‘UCI Parking and Transportation provides us with parking lot counts during peak hours, for example, how many open spaces we have during our busiest times,’ McCauliff said. ‘We use that data to determine if we can offer additional parking privileges each academic term.’
While the opening of Vista del Campo Road has decreased the number of parking spaces in close proximity to the undergraduate resident community, it has eased traffic congestion along Arroyo Drive. Before the road opened, the only outlet for Arroyo Vista residents and the approximately 3,052 residents in Vista del Campo and Vista del Campo Norte was the intersection of Arroyo Drive and California Avenue.