“We don’t have a parking problem on campus,” said Earl Lawson, employee of the school since 1994, “We have a convenience problem.”
Lawson serves California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) as chief of police and associate vice president, and has been here since the school opened in 1995. During the 27 years since CSUMB’s beginnings as a military base, there has been a plan to turn the former base into a walkable campus. This involves building over the small spaces to park on main campus such as lot 18 and 23, to create science buildings, housing projects, and further expansions. This will continue to make spaces close to class scarce.
Lawson is adamant “CSU Monterey Bay has 3,350 general parking stalls available. At no time in our history as a university on an academic day have all those parking spots been full.”
The current proposed solution is consolidated, further parking lots such as lot 59, which must be efficient, safe and have a reliable shuttle program to reduce student frustration. The school aims to completely eliminate hunting for a spot by ensuring one further away but with immediate transit to main campus.
With the new readdition of the bird scooters, it will be even easier for students to park further if willing to pay for convenience. The wave, the new CSUMB transit system, runs every eight minutes, a shorter span than anyone would spend looking for parking.
“Parking was never intended to be convenient. Parking is a necessity,” Lawson said.
There’s a big push to encourage students to stop bringing personal vehicles to campus because of CSUMB’s commitment to reduce our carbon footprint for the environment. The initially inconvenient master plan eventually will turn these lots into outdoor gathering spaces, trees, and benches. CSUMB has promised its students a walkable, environmentally healthy campus.
So why aren’t people taking the bus to achieve this vision?
Lawson says it’s because, “We’re Americans. Convenience.”