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CSULB parking enforcement encourage students to commute

Every academic year, about 1,500 parking citations are given out on campus per month, Director of Parking, Transportation and Support Services Ellie Christov said via email.

According to the university website, parking tickets can range from $40 for not having up-to-date registration stickers on license plates to $338 for obstructing disabled parking spaces. A person can receive multiple citations at once for applicable violations.

Students and visitors can file appeals for citations they feel are “issued in error,” according to the university website.

“An example that would be considered ‘issued in error’ would include a situation where an individual has a valid permit displayed, [but] the permit was placed upside down on their dashboard, and its effective date could not be seen [or] read by the enforcement officer,” Christov said.

Senior art major Irene Wang said that parking enforcement rejected her appeal on two parking tickets.

“My mom got two tickets after parking for fifteen minutes in the dorm parking lot in order to pick me up for a weekend visit home,” senior art major Irene Wang said.

Wang said each ticket was worth $48, and they were given for a failure to display a valid permit and a lack of a residential parking.

Parking Operations is responsible for constructing parking structures, lots and spaces and keeping those facilities in good repair. The parking office also manages the campus shuttle system and U-Pass program, which provides California State University, Long Beach students with free use of the Long Beach Transit bussing system.

“The use of an active enforcement program allows us to ensure that parking is available for students,” Christov said. “Without it, anyone would be able to utilize the campus parking facilities, which would severely limit the number of available parking spots on campus.

Parking enforcement does not receive state funding, so it needs to pay for everything using revenues from citations and permits. The department is an entirely self-sustaining university program.

Some students have said they feel that enforcement fails when it comes to providing them with a sufficient number of spaces.

“I need to arrive a good 90 minutes early for my 11 a.m. class,” senior art major Aim Pattarachanyakul said. “The biggest problem is people tend to not be very polite [about parking] during those times.”

Senior environmental science major Estevan Pantoja said that a lack of available parking spaces could have interfered with his academic success.

“My professor nearly kicked me out of his class when I didn’t show up to the first day of class because I was trying to find a parking space,” Pantoja said. “He told me ‘you better not show up late again, or I will drop you,’ so I started showing up two hours early for the rest of that semester.”

Some students said that at $123 per semester, parking permits are too expensive, considering that permits don’t guarantee a parking space.

“The campus recognizes the demand for parking, and we continue to actively encourage sustainable transportation initiatives to help alleviate this demand,” Christov said. “In addition, we are currently exploring the feasibility of expanding the on-campus shuttle system into the residential areas surrounding campus…”

Christov said that this would aim to discourage students living nearby from bringing their cars to campus.


  1. Avatar
    Norberto Lopez

    At CSUDH they receive a week after school starts to get a parking permit without getting a citation. I have received two citations and both were on the first week of school. I believe the parking permit is way too high for something you can’t really count on. I myself believe it has interfered with my education because the lack of parking spaces have caused me to be late to classes. A parking structure should be built in upper campus. Even the professors complain about how bad parking is at school.

  2. Avatar

    I do agree with the active enforcement program of tickets and citations. I would hate for there to be even less parking spaces. I did get 2 parking tickets by mistake. I appealed them both and won. This leads me to believe that our appeals process is fair (although not having to go through the hassle of appealing to begin with would be great).

    I can relate with one of the stories (I’m assuming most students do) about having to show up on campus a good hour before class starts. The story with the student who had a professor almost kick him out of class is kind of funny. It’s like come on man, you’re a senior, you should know better. You should already know about our school’s parking situation and how on the first week of classes, it’s even worse.

    I question Christov’s focus on “encouraging sustainable transportation initiatives and exploring the feasibility of expanding the on-campus shuttle system”. I mean, what percentage of the 35,000 students does Christov think this focus will affect? By my guess, of the 35,000 student population, there are about 10% who dorm and another 10% who live near campus. If all 20% did use the free bus and shuttle system, that would still leave 80% of us who would still have issues finding parking. Even so, I would hate not to have a car and have to take the bus instead. Let’s be real, we live in California and not having a car is just inconvenient. I feel like Christov’s focus should shift from free shuttles and free buses to more parking spaces as that focus wouldn’t really improve our parking situation.

    I know building another structure isn’t an easy thing and there may not even be enough budget for it, but maybe more communication and involvement with students as to what is in the budget and what can actually be done to improve our lack of parking situation would be a good start.

    • Avatar

      I wanted to point out that just because the student was a senior at the time this article was written, that doesn’t mean the anecdote came from his senior year. The parking situation the first few weeks can also be bad enough that even showing up two or three hours early can leave you without access to a space; other students have classes at different times.

    • Avatar
      Another Anon

      Just because the guy was a senior at the time this article was written doesn’t mean he was a senior at the time he almost got dropped from a class.

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