Cal Poly Pomona’s parking predicament

Cal Poly Pomona has all kinds of different students. There are commuters driving to campus for their fourth year in a row, whose freeway routes have been burned into their memories to the point where they could tell you every detail of the 10 or the 57. 

There are business students, agriculture majors and engineers of all stripes. There are students who are graduating, students who are here for three more years and students who don’t even know how much longer they have left.

For some of us, just going to school is a full-time job in and of itself. Some of us are gym rats, others don’t mind staying in all day, every day and more than a few of us are still recovering from last night’s party.

Moral of the story is, there are a lot of us here, but there’s one thing that unites all Broncos; one thing we can all agree on: The parking here sucks.

Eduardo Rangel | The Poly Post

Anyone who owns a car and commutes to campus knows all too well how frustrating the parking situation is. How many times have you been late to class because you spent a literal hour driving around searching for parking (in vain)? How many times have you waited near the structure entrances looking to offer someone a ride to their car for a spot like a really desperate Uber driver? 

How many times have you felt joy, hope, anger and despair all within five seconds of asking someone if they were leaving … only for them to look you in the eye, knowing your pain all too well, and tell you, “No, I’m sorry”? 

This is a feeling experienced universally among students here at some point (and if you haven’t yet, you will some day). You don’t have to look far on any CPP-related social media to find people complaining about the lack of available spaces and how far the walk is once people eventually find a spot.

As reported previously by The Poly Post, there are approximately 26,000 students and 2,000 staff and faculty here on campus as of last semester. 

When you combine this knowledge with the fact that the worst times to find parking are between 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Thursday – which I would put good money on betting that is when most of us have class – you end up with the lovely parking predicament that we find ourselves in today.

The pièce de résistance, however, is the fact that we have to pay for all of this. Not just in missed class time, not just in frustration and tears, but in cold, hard cash on top of it all. 

We have to pay $231 per semester, totaling $462 per year. That’s almost $500 per year on top of all other school expenses just to not find parking. 

We are paying to drive around and be late to class.

As the school accepts more freshmen and transfers, and as we continue to go over capacity when it comes to parking, this situation is only going to get worse for everyone here. What are we to do? 

Maybe the university can expand overflow significantly. Maybe they can reevaluate the costs of permits and see how other Cal State Universities are able to keep their permit prices down. 

Maybe they can build more levels to the structures. Maybe they can’t do any of these things, for whatever reason, but if that’s the case, some answers as to why they can’t would be nice. 

I don’t know what we as students can do about this, other than continue to struggle. 

But what I do know is that something has to change, and with Associated Students, Inc. elections coming up, maybe we as students can ask our potential representatives what solutions they have. At least that would be something to think about while you drive one more circle around the parking structure.

  • Show Comments (1)

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    Emmanuel T

    Here’s the thing about parking: adding more spaces will not solve the parking problem. Building more parking infrastructure will not mitigate the chronic parking issues. Rather, it will induce more demand from students that see expanded parking as an opportunity to drive to campus even more. Why work backwards and contribute to the already horrible commuter culture on campus? The university should instead work with the local transit agency and work to expand access to transit for all students. Expanded bus serviced, shorter headways, a free bus pass system similar to MtSAC.

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