Digital displays lead drivers astray

Graphic by Tonika Reed

 

Junior business major Amy Giraldo has learned through bitter, repeated experience that the digital displays promising parking spots in Lastinger can’t be trusted.

“I would spend around 10-15 minutes trying to find an open space before going to a different parking structure,” says Giraldo.

Sheryl Boyd, the Assistant Director of Parking and Transportation Services explains the percentage of spaces include spots for motorcycles and people who have a (DP) parking placard or DP license plates.

“The percent of the disabled spaces are taken out of the formula for calculating occupancy,” Boyd clarifies. “There are 8 motorcycle spaces in Barrera, 2 Motorcycle Spaces in Lastinger and 8 motorcycle spaces in the West Campus Structure.  There are 14 disabled spaces in Barrera, 18 disabled spaces in Lastinger and 8 disabled spaces in the West Campus Structure.”

In other words, don’t bother driving into Barrera if the availability sign is 22 or fewer, Lastinger if it’s 20 or fewer or West Campus Structure if it’s 16 or fewer and you’re not on a motorcycle or in a vehicle permitted to park in a handicap spot.

Some students noticed that those who don’t have a handicap parking sign are still parking in those designated areas.

“I’ve seen plenty of people park in the handicap spaces and it’s really unfair to the people that it’s there for and to the rest of us who still need to find parking spaces,” says sophomore business major Gabriel Hernandez.

Boyd has also witnessed student’s parking in the residential neighborhood surrounding the campus.

“We are finding students parking in the neighborhood instead of the lot,” Boyd speculates.

Boyd suggests that the majority of vacant parking spots on campus are able to be found on the top level of the Jim Miller Structure which is specifically for commuter students, faculty, and staff permit holders.

“It has not been full any day this semester,” says Boyd. “We average between 40-80 available spaces every day. So, if the app shows the structures with less than 20 available spaces, head straight to the Jim Miller Structure and save yourself time searching for an open spot.”

Some students are not aware of the parking app and in Giraldo’s case, before Boyd told her about the app, she never knew about the available parking spaces in the Jim Miller Structure.

“I feel like people usually go to Lastinger first because they don’t want to spend time looking for parking but now that I know about the app, it helps me find parking more efficiently,” states Giraldo.

Saranna Quach

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