Parking: Change for the better… or is it?


We all know the frustration associated with visiting Seattle and dealing with parking. At Bellevue College, the parking situation can be very similar in terms of the length of time it takes to find a parking spot and the hassle with fees.

The friends of mine who obnoxiously brag about their extra hour of sleep when they enroll in later classes are also the friends who complain about their daily routine of searching for parking.

In the previous quarters, friends have spent thirty minutes (and unfortunately sometimes even longer) searching the parking lots for a place to park their car.

One of the causes of the lack of parking places was the administration of free parking passes. However, as of June 29, 2011, the Board of Trustees approved the implementation of parking fees.

I can’t say that I’m particularly excited about paying $65 for an everyday parking pass, but the Associated Student Government (ASG) makes valid points about why there is a need to charge for parking.

The ASG of 2010-2011 took the initiative to decide how to solve the parking issue. The reasoning behind the fee is to generate revenue that will be designated toward maintaining parking lots, reducing congestion, and encouraging other forms of transportation. Also, the parking fees will keep the Orca pass program in existence. If we were to discontinue the Orca pass program, approximately 1,400 students would be affected.

If driving to school is not an absolute must, explore other transportation options.

There are some pretty sweet deals for bus passes. You can pay $60 for a preloaded Orca card with a value of $120 (requires a minimal enrollment of 5 credits), or you can pay $120 for an Orca preloaded with a value of $240 (requires a minimal enrollment of 10 credits). The Orca cards will never expire, giving you more flexibility throughout the school year. However, if you decide to purchase an Orca card, be sure to register it online. In the event that your card is stolen or lost, you may be able to recover the value left on the card. Orca cards may be purchased from the cashier in the B Building.

Biking is an excellent alternative to driving to campus. A bike trail is off of I-90, and you can always try a combination with biking and riding the bus. Showers are available for use in the locker rooms in the gym.

To minimize this parking fee, some students are choosing to carpool and split the costs of the parking. If you can have a carpool of three or more people, then you can sign up for a carpool parking pass which will give you access to reserved parking. To acquire the carpool parking pass, you will need to have all three or more people who choose to carpool for registration. Students post ads on the bulletin board in the C Building, but another way to find carpool buddies is to visit to find carpool matches. If you use your BC e-mail, then you can opt to be filtered into BC students only.

Daily parking will be $2 in lots 9, 15, and the fifth floor of the parking garage. Luckily, these parking meters won’t be picky about the method of payment. You can use coins, cash, and even credit cards to pay for your daily parking. Just make sure you have the right amount, for the parking meters will not administer change.

And don’t even think about not paying for parking. You will receive a citation of $25 for no permit, and $50 for parking in faculty if you are a student.

The parking passes will be available for purchase September 1st online.

If you have any additional questions regarding parking, you may visit the BC’s Public Safety Website at: