The 2018-2019 school year at Bellevue College is finally here and many of the students and staff have noticed some significant changes to the parking around campus. My Tran, director of the Public Safety department, sent out a school-wide email during the first week of classes asking staff and students to allow themselves an extra 45 minutes to park, and to consider taking public transit. Another school-wide email at the start of the quarter reminded students that the Public Safety department is available to help with lockouts, jump dead batteries and provide safety escorts on campus 24 hours a day, all week.
According to the Bellevue College website, BC is home to approximately 14,675 students and boasts an annual enrollment of 32,500. With the first ever addition of student housing to the Bellevue College community, Public Safety is currently figuring out how to implement new policies that can take into account both students and guests being on campus overnight. Currently the new rules are as follows: students and staff only need parking permits if they are parked on campus between the hours of 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Any students who do not need to park on campus during these hours that have already purchased a parking pass are entitled to a full refund; contact the Public Safety department in D171 for more details.
The current iteration of the BC parking system holds a few key differences to last year. Most notably, lots 2 (student parking) and 4 (staff parking) are gated off until construction of the Student Success Center is completed in early 2020. The student lots 6 and 15 have been changed from student to staff parking. The old student lot 9F is now where the dorm building stands.
In anticipation of recent changes, lots 1, 3, and 5 (all of which are closest to 148th St) have been converted into general lots where staff, students and visitors are welcome to park with a permit.
With four less student parking lots than in previous years, traffic is slightly more congested on campus and parking is taking longer than it has in the past. These parking issues are not going to stop anytime soon. Public Safety was not able to provide numbers on how many parking spaces are available on campus compared to how many permits have been issued, but it should not come as too much of a surprise that large-scale construction impacts parking availability on campus. According to the 2017 Bellevue College Master Plan, published by Bellevue College Capital Projects, the new student housing building cost the campus 82 parking spots and the new Student Success Center will cost an additional 192 spots. As the college grows, an anticipated total 6,801 parking spaces will be needed while the new buildings and renovations will take away an estimated 1628 additional spots. The school plans to set up temporary parking south of building Q as the projects progress.