Student parking uproar

ParkingSliderThe beginning of the quarter is renowned for its congestion. President Dave Rule put it well, in saying that purchasing a parking pass is a lot like purchasing a hunting permit. Despite paying money for parking privileges, there is no guarantee that spots will be available. Finding a spot can take well over 30 minutes. The intersection of  transportation developments further contributes to the situation.

On top of new students trying to learn their schedule and an unfamiliar campus, many students still have to retrieve books for their courses. This quarter’s parking situation has “changed a little bit because of the construction and the displacement of some parking has pushed the students farther out so there is more competition for those close in stalls,” said Deric Gruen, director of the Office of Sustainability. The congestion is worsened by circling cars that compete for spots rather than avoiding the inner parking lots.

Alex Clark, Associated Student Government environmental and social responsibility representative, highlighted the pedestrian infrastructure as a setback to promotional efforts. To complicate matters further, King County Metro is proposing cuts that would eliminate direct service to Bellevue College for the 245 and 271. Between transit and parking farther away from campus, there are more students on sidewalks but no improvement of the infrastructure they are expected to travel on. The pavement is cracked, poorly lit and built for low-capacity travel. Public Safety offers escorts upon request—depending on the availability of security officers.

Sustainability is always making an effort to increase the use of alternative transportation options. Rebecca Szabo, transportation coordinator for the Office of Sustainability, recommends taking advantage of public transportation, biking and walking. For those who must drive, carpooling is encouraged. BC Ride Match provides the infrastructure for students to coordinate rides with others who may be on a similar route. Sustainability aims to use incentives students and faculty.

Students can receive $25 for signing up with BC Ride Match and for those with existing accounts, students can receive $25 for using the calendar for six days. Portions of the lower level of the parking garage has parking spots specifically dedicated to those who carpool. Carpool passes can be purchased through Public Safety. Cheaper passes are available online for two day parking as well as distant lot parking. For those willing to park in lots one, three and five, students can pay $25 less than your standard five-day parking pass, a $10 reduction from previous quarters.

Tables have been set up in the C-building lounge and the library to assist students with developing their transportation plan. Assistance can also be found through the Sustainability in C106 during their office hours or online at