GCC Faces Limitations on Parking

El Vaquero Staff Writer

The temporary parking permit dispensing machines located in Lot B of the GCC parking lots have been removed this semester due to a number of reasons, one of them being the budget cuts.

Effective since the beginning of the semester, the machines that allowed students to buy temporary permits to park for a certain amount of time were removed to save some money for the college.

According to Nidal Kobaissi, GCC police specialist, the machines were always breaking down and were not efficient enough. “They [machines] costs thousands to maintain, and they didn’t work too well. We were losing about $10,000 a year and we can’t afford that especially with budget cuts.”

The machines would either not recognize the amount of money put in, not print receipts or permits, or not recognize parking stallnumbers. The machines were also not connected to one another which means that each individual machine would be able to dispense a ticket for the same parking slot at the same time.

To have an efficient parking meter system, the machines would have to be wired together and controlled through one main system.

However, that would require tearing up the parking lot to wire the machines together underground.

Students were notified by posted signs on the meters, and posted signs at the police office all throughout the winter session.

An announcement was also posted in the college’s weekly bulletin and spring semester catalog.

Some students feel however, they were not informed enough and suffered consequences as a result.

“When I was in college, I didn’t pay attention to any posted signs at all,” said Kobaissi. “When you’re in a rush it’s hard to read notices.”

In addition, those students who did not need to purchase temporary permits in the winter session were not aware of the change.

“Students were late to their classes all of the first week of the semester and that’s because they counted on the temporary parking permits to be there and they weren’t,” said Arman Depanian, AS senator of finance and member of the parking governance committee.

“They [students] were inadequately informed about the parking meters being shut down and I couldn’t tell them anything either because I myself wasn’t informed.”

Another student, Jesse Melgares, was late to his first AS meeting because he also did not know the parking meters had been removed. If he is late two more times, he could suffer consequences with AS.

“The removal of the permit dispensers just shifted the people without permits from Lot B to the parking across the street,” said Kobaissi.
“It doesn’t force anyone to buy a permit unless they want to park at Lot B.”

Lots 30, 32, 33, and 34 are metered parking lots. Permits are also honored at these lots. Lots B, 31, and the Civic Auditorium parking structure all require permits for parking.