By Natasha Baker
*Published in the print edition of The Channel Islands View in Oct. 2008
Parking. Parking. Parking. It’s what we have all been talking about since the first day of school. As students, our main focus should be reading and studying for our classes, but instead we are worrying about finding a place to park in order to make it to class on time. At times, it seems as if there is virtually no where on campus to park. Our campus is growing at a rapid and unexpected speed, and our parking lots are filling up faster than ever before.
Our campus community is aware of the parking issue and is doing all that they can to help with this parking crunch. In a collaborative effort, Student Government, OPC, and Police and Parking Services, are doing everything in their power to make this situation bearable for our students, faculty, staff, and visitors. First, OPC is cooperating by minimizing the construction impact on parking spaces by taking a step by step approach. For example, if we lose fifty spaces, OPC will add at least fifty new spaces. Gravel is being laid down for construction of temporary (and well-lit) lots that will lessen the burden of reduced parking spaces. Second, Police and Parking Services are promoting alternative modes of transportation including the VISTA bus, carpooling, and Park and Ride. Since September 24th, The VISTA bus shuttle cards have been available to students, faculty, and staff for $16.75 for the remainder of the semester. Alternatively, carpooling groups can be set up on the CSUCI website under Police and Parking Services, or students/faculty can simply form their own carpool group with nearby classmates/co-workers. Also, Park and Ride participants can meet and park at the Lewis Road metrolink station (including the Dawson side), and then drive to campus from there. Think of the spaces saved if four cars parked at the metrolink station and only one car entered our campus to park!
For those of you who already have a parking permit, you can still take advantage of these opportunities. If you choose to surrender your parking permit, Police and Parking Services still has some incentives for you. If you turn in your parking permit, you will receive 50% of the original price you paid as your refund payment. Also, the first 100 students and the first 100 faculty/staff will receive gift certificates from one of the following locations: Target, Tony’s Pizza (across from the Metrolink Station), In-N-Out, or Edwards Cinemas. To return your parking permit, stop by Police and Parking Services to choose an alternate mode of transportation, return your permit, complete a refund permit form, and then pick up your gift certificate!
Despite the rumors you may have heard, the campus is not sold out of parking permits nor is it revoking them from students who have already purchased them. It is your choice whether or not you keep your parking permit. However, this parking crunch can not be solved without the help of our entire campus. It is up to you to minimize this parking crisis!