Parking rules inconvenient mess

Staff Editorial

Parking.  It has sparked debate and headache for students at Bakersfield College for many years, and yet no real evidence can be found to show that the administration has heard our grievances.

Our on-campus student numbers have grown, and like class sizes and cut programs, it sends the message that there doesn’t seem to be room for us all.

Administrators are constantly telling students to get out there and make their voices heard, but raised parking fees seem to say that these voices don’t matter when money is involved.

In an ideal world, parking would be free and getting a spot five feet from your first class of the day would be possible, but we understand such dreams just can’t be real.

What does seem to be possible, however, is increasing the very small amount of free parking we do have.

Currently, students can park free of charge on the streets bordering the school where legally allowed, as well as a small square of parking lot by the baseball field on Haley Street and University Avenue.

From a budgetary standpoint, this makes tons of sense; more paid parking and less free parking means more money for the school.

However, from a student’s standpoint, taking a 12-minute walk from your car in the sweltering Bakersfield sun from free parking to class just to save a few dollars is just ridiculous.

A school like ours should function on give and take, with student success helping the college, and the college helping students in return.

However, what we see lately is a whole lot of “take” and not enough “give.”

If the current corner of campus parking can be free, why not another?

The corner of Mount Vernon Avenue and University Avenue is just as far away from classes as the current free parking, and would be an excellent free parking space.

Also, we don’t see the harm in extending the current free parking area just a few more spaces. As it stands, free parking is about a fourth of that lot’s area, and it is easy to see why.

It levels off perfectly with the street entrance and baseball field, but that is about its only positive attributes.

The spaces literally only a few feet from free parking aren’t being utilized, because any student who pays for parking isn’t going to use the spaces so far from classes.

If the free parking area increased from a fourth to at least a third, maybe there would be fewer complaints about the entire issue.

If this give and take is supposed to go both ways, students should at least be given some real options.

So while half of us struggle to find free parking, and others pay to park right next to free parking, those with the reserved parking spaces ought to reach out and help students.