Aug 09, 2020

Parking: new semester, same old story

It’s 7:45 am on a Tuesday morning with cars backed up Shaw Avenue past Dog House Grill. For most commuters, individual levels of traffic are like variables; they can depend on weather, geographical area and, of course, parking.

However, for Fresno State students, the one constant always seems to be parking and the struggle that accompanies it.

As yet another semester is upon us, students are required to purchase a parking pass if they wish to park their vehicle on campus.

Students can either pay $93 for the fall 2014 semester or $186 for a yearly pass.

The most popular student zones for parking are near the Henry Madden Library, near the police station on Barstow Ave., as well as in the student dormitories. Zones like these, especially near the library, are notorious for being first-come, first-serve stalls with parking typically filled before noon and empty again around nightfall.

Jalen Watson, a junior majoring in business from Visalia, said he swapped his routine trip to Burger King or Taco Bell for a satisfying spot in line on campus. Watson chimes “I’d rather get on campus with a safe, envious spot and dine at Starbucks then eat somewhere else and battle for a prime spot,” Watson said.

If there’s any solace, students can revel in the fact the P-30 zone located between the Health Center and the Library permits students to park overnight on Fridays and Saturdays. This area has become a haven for students who live in the dorms adjacent to the lot.

Alejandro Olivera, a junior majoring in criminology, is a student assistant working for Traffic Operations.

Olivera, who frequently offers assistance to disabled or injured students via a security cart, noted that there are 31 parking lots on campus with 23 exclusive faculty only zones.

Wearing a grey shirt and dark sunglasses, Olivera waves to his fellow co-workers draped in blue polo shirts. Employees in blue shirts have the authority to levy parking citations.

Faculty-only zones are typically designated by yellow signs and yellow stripes separating each stall, whereas student parking is typically designated by green signs and white stripes separating each stall.

Parking and Transportation Manager Tom Gaffery provided numerical insight in regards to student data and their traffic behavior.

“As of September 2nd, approximately 13,190 parking passes have been sold; which is a surge from last year’s numbers (12,125) at this time,” Gaffery said.

He also mentioned 11,900 citations were given out last year to traffic violators on campus.

According to Traffic Operations’ official website, the minimum fine for a parking citation begins at $40 for offenses such as being double parked or parking in an unauthorized area and the maximum fine is $330 for not having disabled placard authorization or a misuse of the placard.

Students are also able to stay updated on traffic advisories, pay and appeal fines as well as view the California law code.

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