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5 problems with student parking

Parking is an ongoing struggle for students at Fresno State. It comes off as if the school is piling more and more restrictions onto students who are just trying to get an education.

THE FIRST PROBLEM: COST

After shelling out thousands of dollars in tuition, students must fork over another $93 for a one-semester parking permit. However, if you’re planning on needing a parking permit for an entire year, you have the option of buying a yearlong permit for $186.

For the nonmath majors out there, that is a savings of $0. Despite being on top of your long-term parking needs, the school offers no discount for purchasing for a whole year in advance — like every other business on earth.

Now, an added benefit of a yearlong parking pass is that it gets you a summer pass for free, right? Wrong. The yearlong pass is for normal session only. Once again, there is no added benefit to buying for a whole year. If you wish to attend summer school, you get the privilege of purchasing an additional $44 parking permit.

THE SECOND PROBLEM: LOCATION

Most student parking is located way out by University High School and beyond. No matter where your class is, the most accessible parking is probably far from your building.

The first several rows of parking, which lie in front of University High School, are meter-only parking. So regardless of your permit, you must keep driving when you see these delightfully empty spaces.

So when you park, you’re looking at a 5-10 minute walk to campus depending on how “good” your spot is.

There is no shuttle service offered at Fresno State like there is at Fresno City College. Why would we deserve it despite the exponentially higher cost of tuition?

THE THIRD PROBLEM: TIME RESTRICTIONS

The Collegian has commented on this several times. Many students have classes at night; most night classes start between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. However, students must wait to park in faculty parking (the yellow spaces) until after 7 p.m.

That means that students getting out of classes at 10 p.m. or later most likely have a nice, dark walk ahead of them in order to get back to their cars.

No need to worry yourselves, though. Fresno State offers students a safety net. If you call Traffic Operations, you can get an escort to your vehicle.

Some students have stated that these convenient escorts can sometimes take up to an hour or more to arrive.

The food ordering app used at Fresno State, Tapingo, should add safety escort to its options so students have an idea of what the wait time is.

At least that way they’ll be able to book the escort while they’re still in class and have it ready when they get out.

THE FOURTH PROBLEM: ADDITIONAL RESTRICTIONS

Did you know that parking permits are only enforced until 10 p.m.? With the exception of “disabled parking (blue zones), emergency parking (red zones), loading/timed zones (white zones), reserved stalls, parking meters” and other specially signed parking areas, students may park anywhere after 10 p.m.

Funny story, Fresno State does not allow overnight parking. So this 10 p.m. cutoff of restrictions is incredibly useless.

Also, there are no parking restrictions on weekends or state holidays, unless of course there is an event of some kind, which I’m sure rarely happens at colleges.

It’s no problem though. I’m sure all students keep an updated event calendar in their vehicles at all times.

THE FIFTH PROBLEM: COMING EARLY DOESN’T MATTER

One of the benefits of coming to school early has always been better parking. Those days have gone by the wayside.

Did you know that your student parking pass is no good in the Henry Madden Library parking lot until after 10:30 a.m.?

No? Well these signs are conveniently located perpendicular to every parking space in that lot – high in the air, so you’d most likely have to be out of your vehicle to see it – if you manage to notice it at all.

What you will notice, however, is the nice pink parking ticket on your windshield despite parking in a green space with your green permit.

The student parking in that lot is designated as “student carpool parking” only until that time.

That means if you arrive for your 8 a.m. class responsibly at 7:30 a.m., you still get to enjoy the same hike from the distant parking lot that you would if you’d shown up at noon.

FINAL THOUGHT

Students aren’t asking for miracles to happen. We don’t expect to park on the grass in front of the building our class is in, but a little extra convenience would go a long way.

Not that the school would spend the money, but the best solution would be to shut down the parking lot next to the library and build a several-story parking garage in its place, with elevators that would get students to the ground level in seconds.

There is a parking forum for students to voice concerns today from noon to 1 p.m. in the Vintage Room.