It’s not uncommon for students at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) to have a car on campus; many students who live on campus bring a car for the academic year, and many others commute to and from CSUMB from surrounding cities. Inevitably, a need for on-campus parking arises and that need has increased along with the growing student body.
However, it seems as though available parking on campus has seen a significant decrease, rather than the desired increase. A growing number of lots on main campus have been designated as “no parking 3 a.m. to 6 a.m.” lots, posing a significant problem for students who live on campus.
During the 2018-2019 academic year, for example, students were able to park overnight in Lot 28, which is centrally located near the library and residential halls. This lot provided a safe place for students to park that was a short walk to the residential halls, which is especially important at night.
Starting this year, Lot 28 is now limited to only daytime parking, leaving students with a parking ticket if their car is parked in it overnight. This scenario is now the reality of parking in almost every lot on campus, with a few exceptions.
Lots 71 and 59 are quickly becoming some of the only options available for students to park overnight without penalty, which can be problematic for a few reasons. These lots are not centrally located, meaning students have to walk a longer distance just to get back to their residences.
This is arguably unsafe, especially if someone is walking back by themselves late at night. The distance can also be inconvenient – ask anyone who is living/has lived in Area One and they will explain how difficult the walk up the hill from Lot 71 can be with bags full of groceries.
Decreased parking also poses an issue for the growing number of commuter students arriving on campus during the week. They are left to compete for remaining spaces left over from residents trying to find a legal place to park, a process that can be frustrating, as well as unsafe. It is not unusual to see people driving aggressively in the lots in order to beat another car to a parking space, posing a threat to other cars as well as pedestrians.
“I don’t even drive on campus, but I’ve cut through the lots often enough to know they’re hazardous,” said second-year Eric Holst. “I’d rather take the extra time on my bike than try and find parking, to be honest.”