Warning: Parking is More Hazardous Than Hassle


After exactly fifty-four minutes of driving through each parking lot, twice, and rounding each level of the parking structures, thrice, the parking Gods shined down on me and a spot opened just as I was about to call it a day and head home.

Walking toward the elevator with the other lucky ones, a young man could be heard on his cellphone, who was equally, if not more, frustrated than the rest of us.  As we sandwiched ourselves into the already crowded elevator, he said, “Am I suppose to care that the old man was Armenian?” Naturally, my ears perked.

“The guy was yelling at me in Armenian telling me I took his spot,” he said.  At first, I wanted to side with him.  I, too, had been honked at, given the finger to and yelled at while circling like a shark.  Then, in a silent elevator, he said, “Why is his old ass at school anyway?  Isn’t he going to die in 20 years?”  That’s where he lost me.

As the doors opened, I glanced behind to see the faces of other students. A few shared similar “did he really just say that?” looks, while others stared at the floor.  The young man laughed and carried on with his conversation, quickly walking out  into a sea of students.

After witnessing the horrors that come along with too many students and not enough parking spaces for almost an hour, I was left wondering why this problem exists.  If students are required to pay for parking,  shouldn’t parking be guaranteed?  We pay for classes, which guarantees enrollment so parking should not be any different.

It’s about to get worse.  The Lab College Service Building, Glendale Community College’s largest building to date, is set to open this fall.  The estimated $40 million project will house writing labs, classrooms, computer labs and other programs, but not extra parking, which means students can expect more of the same drama, stress and headache.

According to Police Chief Gary Montecuollo, parking spaces that are currently unavailable due to construction will once again be open to students, but he is unsure how many.

Not that those spots will do much to alleviate the problem.  The National Center For Education Statistics states that the total enrollment for Fall 2013 was 15,744 students.

“There are approximately 1,100 spaces [for parking] on the campus,” Montecuollo said. “There are also approximately 1,400 spaces across from the College in the municipal lots.” Granted, not all students are on campus at the same time on the same day, but from what I’ve seen, the 2,500 parking spaces are not enough to accommodate total enrollment during peak hours.

Regardless of the parking concerns that arise semester after semester, fixing the problem is not at the top of anyone’s list, an assumption due to the fact this issue continues. There does not seem to be a solution in sight.

Unless, students are willing to carpool.  Montecuollo has observed “that a significant number of students are single vehicle occupant users.  That means one person per vehicle.  Carpooling, vanpooling, and the use of other means of transportation are not as common as the single vehicle occupant.”

Carpooling works, in theory.  But that would mean students would have to take classes at the same time on the same days, or be a good friend and wait for their other friends to get out of class before leaving.  I see that happening about as much as I can see GCC fund another, much needed, parking lot. Alas, parking is still no guarantee.

Is There Parking at GCC? Follow @gccparking on Twitter to find out!