Decrease in parking spaces causes difficulty for some students

A decrease in the number of available parking spaces has made it more difficult for some Chapman students to find parking on campus.

There are 187 fewer parking spaces available this year due to construction and a larger student population, but 26 more parking passes have been issued this semester, said Chief of Public Safety Randy Burba.

There were 4,460 student commuter permits issued this school year, compared to the 4,434 passes issued last year.

Sheryl Boyd, the assistant director of Parking and Transportation Services, said there hasn’t been much of a change in demand for parking spots in the Lastinger Parking Structure or the Barrera Parking Structure behind the Fowler School of Law.

(Graphic by Jamie Altman)

In an email Sept. 11, Parking Services announced additional parking for commuters, students and faculty in the Jim Miller Structure and Villa Park Orchards parking lot to “alleviate pressure on high demand parking areas at peak times.” The parking will be available from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday for permit holders.

“The Lastinger and Barrera structures are filling at the same time that they typically fill during the spring and all semesters of last year,” Boyd said.

The Panther monitored how quickly the Lastinger Parking Structure filled up the morning of Wednesday, Sept. 6 and it was full by 9:42 a.m.

“Obviously, there are more students this semester than there were last fall, but we received fewer resident students with vehicles, so that gives us an opportunity to possibly utilize some of that parking for commuters,” Boyd said.

Still, junior strategic and corporate communications major Melanie D’Andrea feels like Chapman’s parking situation has gotten worse this semester.

“It’s so ridiculous,” she said. “This wasn’t as much of an issue in previous years. At this point, it would take me longer to find parking than it would to just walk to school, and I don’t even live that close to campus.”

Photo by staff photographer Catie Kovelman

Boyd believes the difficulty D’Andrea mentioned is due to higher demand for parking at the beginning of the semester.

“We find this at the beginning of every semester, until students’ schedules are all set,” she said. “We do plan to send out an announcement about some overflow parking options, like the Cypress Lot and the West Campus Structure.”

Currently, parking spaces on the top floor of the West Campus Structure at the Digital Media Arts Center are open to the public.

With the addition of the new Center for Science and Technology, about 300 parking spaces will be added as part of an extension of the Lastinger Parking Structure, Boyd said.

“There will be two levels that are extended underneath the science building,” she said. “How that will be allocated, I’m not sure, but it’s nearly 300 more spaces. That should be fall 2018, so we should be able to use it this time next year.”

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