Campus, News

Back to school, if you can find a parking spot

The start of every semester  guarantees parking problems at Long Beach State, but the administration has tried to combat the issue with the assisted parking program this semester.

The program is scheduled for the first eight weeks of the semester in lots G2, G6, G7 and G12, according to the Director of Parking and Operations Robyn Ames-Woodyard. 

“The demand for parking typically subsides significantly after the first eight weeks of the semester,” Ames-Woodyard said. “We will be monitoring parking demand throughout the eight week period, and can extend the assisted parking program if it is needed.”

Parking assistant helping out a student on where to park
Henry Bustamante a Parking assistant with Empire Transportation, assists a student looking for barking Monday morning in parking lot G6. Ryan Guitare/Daily Forty-Niner

Parking and operations said that parking at the start of fall semester is always stressful, and this is the department’s newest method of tackling high volumes of traffic. Last year’s strategy, off-campus overflow parking, was met with a lot of issues.

Students reported difficulty using the shuttles to the off-campus lot in the early morning or in the evening, thus causing students to have to walk two miles off campus to get back to their cars after night classes.

According to Ames-Woodyard the school wasn’t able to find another off-campus lot to use, and the previous lot wasn’t available this year. Instead, CSULB chose to partner with Empire Parking Lot Services to provide a valet-type service for students this semester.

“Parking will be paying approximately $400,000 for this eight week program,” Ames-Woodyard said. “The cost includes the assisted parking services and the cost to add three more shuttles to the on-campus fleet for the duration of the program.”

Numbers placed in front of each row in the parking lot for students to know what lane they parked in.
Rows are numbered at parking lot G6 so students know where their car is parked with the new valet parking system. Ryan Guitare/Daily Forty-Niner

The money primarily comes from parking permit fees, according to Ames-Woodyard.

The strategy that will be utilized for assisted parking in the general lots will be for students to park their own cars, and then turn in their keys so workers can move their cars to stack parking, according to employees Henry Bustamante and Rosalind Williams.

 “We’re expecting to find everybody, for a peaceful day, a fine parking space…and [to] get to class on time,” Bustamante said. 

Assisted parking is  scheduled for the fall 2019 semester with no plans to extend the program into the spring semester or for fall 2020.

an umbrella with a key box in the parking lot.
The new valet umbrella stands with a key box are set up all over lower campus parking lot house the keys of students cars. The valet system will be available for the first eight weeks of the fall semester. Ryan Guitare/Daily Forty-Niner
cars parked
Assisted parking in the general lots offers a faster way for students to get to class. Along with organized parking, the assisted parking also implemented stacked parking to fit more cars. Ryan Guitare/Daily Forty-Niner
top view of a parking lot
The top floor of the pyramid parking structure is full Monday morning for the first day of the fall semester. Ryan Guitare/Daily Forty-Niner

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