Picture this scenario: You’re driving your car. You’re so irritated, frustrated and annoyed that you want to scream at the top of your lungs. Your face is red and you’re breathing frantically. What is making you feel this way? Are you driving in L.A. traffic? No, it’s worse. You’re trying to find a parking space at APU. This a reality for any student on campus with a car at APU.
As a commuter, I deal with this struggle every day, multiple times a day. I leave my house an hour before my first class starts so I will be able to find parking. However, the trip from my house to the university is only a 10-15 minute commute, which means that I spend between 45-50 minutes looking for parking.
I know that I am not the only person who has these frusterations. Every student with a vehicle at APU feels the strain of parking. Sophomore communications major and commuter, Nikka Binotapa explains how inconvenient parking can be.
“The most frustrating thing is that parking is never convenient. As students who pay a lot to this school, you would think that it should be more convenient,” said Binotapa. “It feels like the campus is way more filled with cars than ever before. I feel like more people who dorm here have cars too, so parking definitely feels worse this year compared to last year.”
Sophomore business major Victoria Moreno lives in the Shire Mods and also expressed her frustrations with parking. People who live on campus can only park in the H Lot on the west campus, which makes things more inconvenient for both commuters and students who are living on campus. Moreno explained the reason is because students that live on campus feel limited in their parking, and, therefore, take up a majority of the H lot. Then many of them don’t want to lose their spot, so they just leave their cars there, and which in turn, makes parking more difficult for commuters.
But can you blame them? Students have found new ways to reserve parking spaces for themselves – even if they are somewhat extreme.
“I have actually seen other students call their friends and tell them to hold a parking space for them as they drive from one campus to the other,” Moreno explained. “These people will actually go out to the parking lot, eventually find an empty space, and then stand in it to reserve it for their friend. The fact that they actually do this shows how bad parking has become.”
APU staff and faculty members are having parking difficulties as well. Philosophy professor Stephen Parise shared his parking struggles.
“On west campus, I usually have to park out by the tennis courts [in H Lot]. On east campus, there has been quite a few times where I couldn’t find a spot to park in, even with the faculty permit, even in the faculty lot. I struggle to find a spot every time I go to east campus,” said Parise. “In this school year alone, there have been two times where I haven’t been able to find parking on campus, so I’ve actually had to park in the Chick-Fil-A parking lot across the street and hope that I don’t get towed.”
So what can APU do to solve the parking problem? Professor Parise suggested building a multi-level parking structure, which if approved, would take a lot of time and money. Binotapa and Moreno recommended more organized parking, such as labeling or selling certain parking spots for commuters and for on-campus students, so that everyone would have their own personal parking space.
Annie Z. Yu wrote an article on parking for the Clause in 2013. In her article she wrote, “There are roughly 2,340 commuters but only 428 spots on East, according to numbers from Executive Vice President David Bixby and the Office of Campus Safety.”
We have come to a point where convenient parking is no longer the issue. Just trying to find a parking in general is the issue. The parking problem will not be fixed at APU while the student boy continues to grow and the administration does not do anything about it.