Editorial Issue 1: Parking

Editorial Issue 1: Parking

Oak Leaf Editorial Staff

Ah, fall. The smell of fresh leaves and crackling pencils. Pumpkin spice lattes and the slow, circular motion of SRJC students searching for parking in an endless loop, doomed to wander the lots like so many vultures until they find their prey or give up, late for class.

The parking situation at SRJC is a disgrace. During the day, there are 4.6 students per parking space on campus. Students with a mid-morning class on Tuesday-Thursday or an early afternoon class Monday-Wednesday are the hardest-hit, but we all suffer.

Students are chronically late for class or drop out altogether from fustration.

Of course, SRJC officials are doing something about the problem – for the faculty. A new staff parking lot recently opened next to the Taco Bell on Elliot Avenue, but little is being done to address the veritable crisis of student parking.

We at the Oak Leaf understand that money is tight, that a new parking garage is an impractical solution that could very well bankrupt SRJC.

But that doesn’t mean we’re up a creek without a paddle.

One problemwith the current  system is the purchase of a parking pass is the only transportation-related purchase option when paying for classes. Student bus passes are available through the bookstore for less money than a semester parking pass, but are unadvertised. Placing the option to purchase a bus pass next to the option to purchase a parking pass would raise student awareness about a viable transportation option for Santa Rosa residents.

A shuttle between the Petaluma and Santa Rosa campuses would be a boon to SRJC students who live in Petaluma, allowing them to get to classes on the Santa Rosa campus safely and on time. It would also save Santa Rosa students with classes in Petaluma a fortune on gasoline.

An SRJC-sponsored car pool program that’s actually advertised to students, especially somewhere in the registration process, would allow students to better combine their resources. Other schools match students up with roommates and housing, SRJC can perhaps match students up with a ride to and from class.

Perhaps these solutions have all been tried to some extent, but raising student awareness of these issues is key.

Allow students to register as a carpool driver and give them a price break on their parking pass.

Educate students on the affordability of bus passes.

Give students the option of purchasing a semester pass on a trans-campus shuttle.

If these solutions don’t work, maybe the Associated Student Senate can work with administrators and study some new ones. The saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Well, our parking system isn’t just broken. Don’t look now, but it may have just driven itself off a cliff in flames.