Chapman has lost 239 parking spaces due to the closures of the Cypress and Villa Parking Orchard lots this semester making parking even more difficult for students, who are likely to have a long walk to class or their dorms.
“It’s an absolute nightmare trying to find parking – especially in Sandhu even though I live here and paid for a permit,” said sophomore screen-acting major Luke Berger, who now parks in Jim Miller.
For sophomore business administration major Ryan Ireland, the time of day his classes are scheduled plays a significant part of his daily scavenger hunt to find a parking spot since he commutes from Chino Hills, a 22.4 mile drive.
“I’ve had to park in Barrera which takes a little longer than usual,” said Ireland. “I normally had 8 A.M. classes so it wasn’t that difficult [to find parking].”
The Assistant Director of Parking and Transportation Services Sheryl Boyd has gotten many complaints from students and faculties about the parking situation.
“We permanently lost prime parking lots for the construction of the Argyros Forum, Beckman Hall, the Fish All Faith’s Center, the Musco Center, the Schmid College of Science and Technology Building, and the new residence hall being built on the former site of the VPO Lot,” Boyd said. “The university has entered into a 100 parking space lease Agreement with the First Christian located on E. Walnut Avenue.
To help with parking, the First Christian Church is offering free parking and “has added the parking lot on the shuttle route as [Chapman’s] Parking Lot Shuttle Route.”
“We had 4,015 [parking spaces] prior to the construction of the new residence hall and currently have 3,776 at the campus and have leased 100 spaces at the First Christian Church on Walnut Street east of Cambridge for a total of 3,876 available for Chapman Constituents,” Boyd said.
Students who live on campus have trouble finding parking in the Sandhu and Glass parking structures which is the back up when Lastinger and Jim Miller parking structures are filled, Boyd said.
Frustrated and impatient, able-bodied students sometimes ignore the handicap parking signs and park in those spaces anyway.
“We are in a period of high demand and limited supply but relief is in sight when the Lastinger Garage expansion opens at the beginning of June,” Boyd reassures.
There will be close to 350 spaces added to the Lastinger Garage. The Palm Lot, which has a total of 110 spaces, and the West Campus Structure, will be available in 2019.
The Jim Miller Parking structure has a total of 599 available spots. Each day a carpool line of lost hope forms by the stairs of the structure, hoping that one person will be leaving so that a spot will open up.
Parking at the campus has always been an issue and unfortunately, it may get even worse this semester.
Fortunately, some recent actions have been put into action to potentially minimize the chaos that surrounds the Jim Miller parking structure due to the double lot closures.
“The First Christian Church Parking Lot has been open to the first 100 students on Monday to Friday from 7 A.M. to 6 P.M. who would exchange their parking permits to help commuters and faculties; however, students have found more efficient outlets,” Boyd said. “We had about 50 people take us up on the offer to switch to a First Christian Church Permit but are only averaging 5 vehicles in the lot on a daily basis. We are finding them parking in the neighborhood instead of the lot.”
To relieve traffic, Boyd suggests students drive up to the top floor of Jim Miller which is specifically designed for overflow parking for commuters. Boyd also suggests students use the parking app which can help students find parking efficiently.
“We average between 40-80 available spaces every day,” Boyd said. “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.”