Cal State Long Beach students are choosing alternatives to commuting to campus in order to avoid paying for parking passes.
Some students are living on campus rather than commuting because of the difficulty of trying to find parking. Art major Jenny Dixon, 18, said she would rather walk to campus than spend time trying to look for parking.
“That’s the only reason why I live on campus,” Dixon said. “I’m carrying a lot of items with me, and if I had to worry about parking it would be really difficult.”
Ginrich Moua, an 18-year-old pre-civil engineering major from Sacramento, California, said she has noticed that campus parking is too limited, and the parking lot for dorm students is being occupied.
“Some people who don’t even live in the dorm are parking in our lot,” Moua said. “It sucks because the people that need their car [parked] can’t park here.”
According to the campus website, prices for parking passes are $123 per semester and $342 dollars for a year-long pass.
Shane Miller, a 25-year-old chemical engineering major, said he thinks students aren’t willing to pay that amount for a parking pass.
“I think the parking passes are over-priced,” Miller said. “This is a commuter campus — people should be able to park on campus with ease.”
Miller said he is concerned that the cost of tuition would increase if the campus were to build an additional parking structure. He said he would be comfortable with raising the price of tuition if it paid off in the long term.
“They will have to find a fine line between putting a priority on improving parking without jacking up tuition costs,” Miller said.
Financial Management’s Director of Support Services Ellie Christov said she thinks that parking at the start of the semester is the busiest.
“Parking is significantly more impacted the first two weeks of school than the rest of the semester,” Christov said. “We typically reserve off-site parking for the first two weeks of the semester.”
An off-campus parking lot is located near the intersection of Second Street and Marina Drive.
“There is a shuttle to and from the campus, and the Marina Lot every 20 minutes,” Christov said. “This has been advertised to students via social media, posters in the shuttles and inserts in the mail when parking permits were sent out.”
Jim Lott, a health care administration professor at CSULB for the past 10 years, said that parking has been terrible for both faculty and students.
“It was so bad that I would have to allow myself an extra half-hour to 45 minutes to swim around to find a place to park,” Lott said. “I would leave my day job a lot earlier than I should just because of the parking situation.”
Lott said he does think that the parking issue can improve.
“The great recession is over, funding for schools is coming back,” Lott said. “All I can do is hope that parking is a priority especially for us who don’t live here.”