ILLUSTRATION BY HUA ZHANG
It’s not unusual to not find parking at Grossmont after 10 or even 11 a.m. With the majority of classes scheduled in the morning, finding parking isn’t always the easiest and can become time-consuming. The parking structure, the front and side lots such as lots 1 and 7, are some of the busiest and fullest parking areas on campus. Although they’re closest and most convenient for exits and entrances, these lots are known to be the more challenging and traffic prone.
Although several students stated parking on campus “sucks,” Lorena Ruggero, Grossmont’s director of College and Community Relations, decided to look on the bright side. She said parking on campus is better than it has ever been, with sufficient spaces for staff and students to park in.
“We have more than enough parking spots on campus for everybody,” Ruggero said. “There’s always spaces on the top floor of the parking structure.”
Besides the main lot by the front of the campus, the parking structure is one of the go-to parking spots on campus. With three different levels for shade and close proximity to several buildings, the parking structure brings an advantage for many people who show up early to park in a desired spot at the front.
Although it may have its advantages, this structure is known for being one of the most congested places for traffic right after the noon and 1 p.m. classes. Since most of the early classes are dismissed at around 12:15 p.m., the parking structure is chaotic, especially if you’re parking on the second and third levels.
“It was so bad,” said Amaya Ardilla, an anthropology major. “I was stuck in the structure for half an hour trying to get up and only found parking on the third level.”
The midday exiting and entering traffic can be chaotic and stressful with so many people trying to leave for home or work.
“Be courteous,” Valeria Quezada said. You aren’t the only one that’s trying to leave campus. Letting people out of their parking spot or just allowing the person in front ofyou go first may let traffic go smoother for the rest of the people trying to get out.
“The longest it ever took me to get out was probably an hour,” Noah Davison said. “That was because I was on top of the parking structure. You have to wait for everyone at the bottom to leave in order for the top to move and get out.”
Mia Castro said: “They’re all horrible. I wouldn’t say there’s the best place to park, but behind the tennis courts is where I always find parking.”
The furthest places from campus are where students should look because there is sufficient parking without problems such as impatient drivers or traffic. Another
Grossmont student, Temito Hernandez, said to try to look in places such as “right outside the 100 buildings.” He added, “Not the parking structure but where the police station is located is bound to have a parking space or two open.”
The first two to three weeks of the semester are the hardest and busiest because of unsettled class schedules, new students and construction. “After that, parking may still seem stressful but after some time it may grow less disorganized and more efficient for students, depending on how they seem to approach it,” Ruggero said.
Here are some quick tips from students and staff to help tackle the parking game.
Carpool to school.
Grossmont has a partnership with Waze Carpool, which matches drivers traveling along the same route. Waze, a navigation and traffic app, makes it easy for you to make new friends and even avoid traffic jams in the early morning when you’re running late to school. Not only does it allow you to find easy access to new cheat roads, but it allows you and your friends to find parking more easily, which makes it more convenient and fun for students all around.
“I was a student here in the late ’90s and I carpooled with all of my friends to come to campus,” Ruggero said.
Use public transportation.
For students who live far from campus, public transportation may not always be the fastest. However, for those who live less than 15 minutes away, it may be something new to try if your goal is to avoid traffic.
Wait it out.
Traffic can take a while before it clears out. Instead of trying to leave campus right away, pack a lunch or hang out at Griffin Grill. There are many different activities around the peak time
of noon to 1 p.m. that can help pass time and avoid traffic. There are always activities in the main quad that can get you involved with the Grossmont community.
Finish or get started on homework.
Remember that assignment that’s due later this week? “Think about times when you could be doing when there’s bad traffic around,” Ruggero said. “It helps you stay on track for things that you need to finish.”
Avoid the same traffic-prone spots.
Grossmont’s only two parking spaces aren’t the structure and Lot 1. There are many other spaces that give access to quick and easy on and off-campus. When asking several students about where the best places to park, they didn’t mention the parking structure, but the lots that were all the way in the back such as 4A. They guaranteed there’s always a parking spot no matter the time. “There is always parking on campus, it just may not be the parking that you want,” Ruggero said.
Grossmont has several streets where many students can park to avoid traffic. Just be sure to be mindful and respectful toward the people who live there. Although it may not be right near your class, this kind of parking may save you 30 minutes trying to get off of campus.
Get to school early.
If you know your class time is later in the day, leave your house earlier. It may seem unnecessary at the time, but there may be more opportunities to find parking and can even motivate you to get an early start to the day “I found parking really easy, but that’s because I had class at 8 a.m.,” Quezada said. “Get here on time or early, preferably. You won’t struggle with finding parking.”