Parking lots disappear to make way for new buildings

By Ashley Mae Orcutt and Sarah Boulerice

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Road closure sign.
Road closure sign. By Sarah Boulerice.

You are innocently walking through the parking lot near the Chapman Science Center toward the Library. You hear the hum of an engine and slow roll of tires nearing you. The window comes down.

“Are you leaving?” the person timidly, yet hopefully asks.

“No, sorry; just walking,” you reply.

“Oh,” the person mumbles as they roll up the window in disappointment, and creap their car to the next walker.

This became a familiar scenario at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) in the fall 2017 semester, when parking lot 508 near the Gambord Business and Information Technology building was closed to make way for the Academic III building.

Academic III construction site by Sarah Boulerice.
Academic III construction site. By Sarah Boulerice.

Furthermore, parking lot 12 near the Student Center will be fenced off soon to make way for the new Student Union building. Along with these parking lots closing, many other lots plan to shut down to make way for other new buildings, according to the CSUMB Master Plan, in the near future.

A major parking component of the Master Plan is to eventually have all interior campus parking lots closed. Parking will be available in four large parking lots on the outer edges of campus.

CSUMB hopes to grow over the next 20 years, reaching a student population of more than 20,000, said Carlos Espinoza, a member of the CSUMB transportation and parking committee. This will create a need for more parking.

Currently, 4,000 parking spots are available on campus to CSUMB’s 8,000 students, plus staff and faculty, Espinoza said.

Espinoza also mentioned that once the Master Plan is put into place, additional shuttles and buses will be added in so that students can get to their classes at an efficient speed. He also says that The Master Plan is going to discourage single car commuters, and encourage people to carpool and take the bus.

CSUMB University Police Chief Earl Lawson said the campus has the most parking spaces and the second cheapest parking permit fees in the CSU system, coming close behind CSU Maritime.

Lawson also said there has never been an instance where all of 4,000 parking spots on campus have been full.

Espinoza said parking fees will increase in the future even though parking lots will continue to close and people will have to walk more on campus. He said these fees are only used for parking improvements, and the increases are needed to pay for improving the lots on the edges of campus.

There are no plans to building a parking structure on campus, said Matthew McCluney, senior Planner of Campus Planning and Development, since one parking spot costs $15,000.

Espinoza believes there are plenty of ways to get around on campus. He suggests people ride their bikes or scooters around campus to make for faster and easier transportation. The parking and transportation committee has also talked about possibly partnering with Bike Share on campus in the future, which is a program where people would be able to rent bikes and ride them across campus.

Street closure signs.
Street closure signs. By Sarah Boulerice.

Lawson says that for the future, CSUMB is looking to become more of a residential school than a commuter school, which should help decrease the need for parking throughout campus.

McCluney confirmed that CSUMB will be more of a residential school, saying that the plan is to house 60 percent of students and 60 percent of the faculty and staff on campus.

As Espinoza drives off campus, he said he is sometimes surprised that there are not more accidents on CSUMB’s streets, since there are so many cars trying to get off campus around the same times.

There are also pedestrians crossing the streets in front of cars as they rush to their classes, which is “a perfect storm for something to happen,” said Espinoza. Because of this, he thinks a walking campus with parking lots further away would make for a safer campus, especially since buses, bikes, and scooters will help students and faculty get to their classes and meetings.

Emergency Ride Home: The Emergency Ride Home Program is a way for commuters who use alternative methods of transportation other than driving their own car to campus to get a ride home if an emergency were to happen. This includes people who carpool, take the bus, bike, or get dropped off on campus. This program allows for students and staff to get reimbursed for an Uber, Lyft, or Taxi through the school to take them home if anyone needs to get home to allow for “peace of mind,” according to CSUMB’s website. For anyone who needs to do this, they would simply fill out a form on the website and email it to transportation@csumb.edu with the receipt of travel attached. For more information, please visit https://csumb.edu/transportation/emergency-ride-home.

 

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