By Amber Frias
Two years after Cal Poly Pomona provided an overflow parking lot for students, students are still opting out of a permit and finding alternative parking.
The university established the overflow parking lot in fall 2013 due to an increase in student enrollment. Parking and Transportation Services was already planning to build a parking structure, but didn’t have enough parking spots at the time to accommodate all students.
“We knew we would have an influx of students,” said Michael Biagi, director of Parking and Transportation Services. “Enrollment was going up. Things were looking good for the university and for the CSU system. We had just anticipated the need for some additional parking.”
The lot is located at the corner of Kellogg Drive and Innovation Way. At the roundabouts, students can catch the free Bronco Shuttle service into campus. All vehicles who use the overflow parking must display a valid CPP parking permit.
Yet even with the overflow parking, students still have a hard time finding a space. Students are unhappy with paying for a parking permit and not being assured a parking space. Students have begun parking alongside Valley Boulevard, which does not require a permit.
“It’s so ridiculous I can’t find parking,” said Christian Gallardo, a fourth-year computer engineering student. “This quarter I decided not to pay for my parking permit because I can’t find parking on campus so I end up here [on Valley Boulevard].”
Parking and Transportation Services does not cap the number of parking permits it sells each quarter.
“We have been selling the same number of permits as before,” said Biagi. “I’m not sure if it’s actually more students are coming to classes than before, or if the class schedules are different than they use to be. Tuesdays and Thursdays are really tough on campus.”
According to Biagi, more student permits are sold than parking spaces available. Parking and Transportation Services sells an average of 17,000 permits per year for only about 12,000 parking spaces.
“That doesn’t mean that once a car is in a space it stays there all day,” said Biagi. “It also doesn’t mean that car is on campus five days a week. Our spaces turn over about 2 1/2 times a day.”
The biggest problem students face when parking on Valley Boulevard is the long distance they have to walk to get to campus.
“It’s a long walk,” said Gallardo. “It’s over a mile to campus. You hit lights, you don’t get there on time and you have to get here earlier. It takes a long time.”
Gallardo commutes to CPP from Baldwin Park, and has to leave an hour early to make it to class on time.
Michael Soares, a fifth-year music industry student, shares a similar story.
It’s pretty far away,” said Soares. You’re walking a mile, if not two miles to get to your class.”
Soares, a Pomona resident, leaves 30 minutes early to make it to class on time.
“It takes a solid 30 minutes to make it to campus from here [Valley Boulevard],” said Soares.
Shuttle options to campus are also available to the students who park on Valley Boulevard. The Bronco Shuttle stops at the entrance to the University Village.
“If you’re parking over on that side, you can catch that right outside of U Lot at Temple Avenue and South Campus,” said Biagi.
As of now, the university has plans to pave out the overflow parking space.
“Once we pave that lot over the summer, we’re going to expand and enhance the shuttle service that goes around that area,” said Biagi. “It will provide better service for the students.”
Residents at the University Village also use Valley Boulevard for parking. According to Biagi, there have been no reported conflicts.
“They are parking on the other side of Temple, and the parking that we have seen as a result of some of the impacts on campus has been on the west side of Temple,” said Biagi.
No accidents have been reported on Valley Boulevard since students began parking there. Biagi advised that students cross at the traffic light safely when parking on Valley Boulevard.
As for the lack of parking spaces, the university is in the process of creating more parking that is available to students.
“We are building a structure in what is right now Lot K, over by the athletic fields and iPoly High School,” said Biagi. “In May the fences will go up, and construction will go up for a new parking structure.”
Hayden Yi / The Poly Post
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