Parking: Common Courtesy Takes a Back Seat

Jackie Brubaker
El Vaquero Staff Writer

I keep hearing the same phrase when it comes to parking at GCC: “You need to be more aggressive.”

I can understand this, but how aggressive do you have to be? Did I somehow miss the fine print hidden somewhere on our parking permits stating that courtesy is obsolete and that drivers are forced to resort to stealing parking spaces in order to find a space here?

Being the angry driver that I’ve become I decided to take a stand and find out what was happening with parking and why people have resorted to such aggressive behavior.

As most drivers at GCC know, driving around to look for a spot is impossible. I learned this early on and soon joined the crowd of drivers who sit aimlessly and wait in the aisles hoping someone will walk to a car and open up a space.

Most of us usually wait up to a half an hour and even longer to find a space. No problem; if this meant I got a spot I was fine with that.

But when it’s bad, it’s bad, and I’ve missed many classes because of the parking problem.

I’ve done the “waiting game” for almost two years now. All I care about is finding a spot and not being trampled on to get it.

It seems to me that there’s a new breed of drivers this semester, the kind that actually steal your spot when you’ve already put your blinker on and are following a driver to his or her car.

After losing space after space, I wonder, do these people have a conscience? Do they even care that in the parking code of ethics stealing a spot that is already spoken for is like cheating in the driving world?
After much anger and frustration I decided to talk to the president of our school, Dr. John Davitt, to see if there was anything being done to help the parking situation.

Davitt was helpful and informative, even though I’m sure parking isn’t one of his favorite subjects to talk about.

When I asked about any possible solutions to the parking mess, his main answer was Measure G.

As many of you might have been aware of, this last March there was a campaign on to pass Proposition G, a bond measure that would give the school money for resources like the new Cimmarusti Science Center among other things.

Those other things included money needed to build more parking for the growing student population.
Some ideas include building a structure on top of “heart attack hill” (otherwise known as the upper lot), possible structures in lots 30 and 31, and the school is even thinking about purchasing property north of the campus where apartments now stand.

However, Davitt did have one more thing to say about parking, “Students don’t realize that parking is just as bad at universities as it is at Glendale.”

So alas, the many angry drivers here at GCC will have to wait still for more parking. But at least there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

As one very frustrated driver to another I plead to the other drivers out there: Please, show some common courtesy to your fellow drivers! If someone has her blinker on and you know she has the spot, let her have the spot! Don’t drive around her and steal her spot.

I don’t buy the excuse of that being aggressive is your only way to win. I’ve seen too many ugly faces and heard one too many honking horns and, to tell you the truth, it’s not worth it (although, the occasional honk does have its benefits).

I’m certainly not asking people to join hands and sing Kumbaya together. But by being fair when you’re taking a spot could help to de-stress people a little bit and maybe even prevent people from having a bad day.

So may you all drive in peace and know that there is hope for the future of parking if we can all wait just a little bit longer.