Got parking … tickets?

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By Editorial Board

By Editorial Board

There’s no need to once again explain how parking is inadequate at Riverside Community College. Chances are, if you’ve been attending this college for more than a week, you’ve experienced the frustration of finding a place to park.

But if the never-ending battle for parking wasn’t bad enough, RCC has gone out of its way to make driving a little more difficult – parking tickets.

Oh yes, parking tickets. Say it’s during peak class hours and you’re frantically searching for a parking spot before you’re late to class. You know that no one is going to leave RCC anytime soon, so you park in the crossed-hatched area at the end of a row.

To you, this seems like a good idea, because they should make that area a parking space anyway. How large does RCC think our cars are that we need three car lengths on both sides of the rows?

Thankfully you won’t be late as you run up to class believing that this is your lucky day. Unfortunately for you, while you’re away in pursuit of a higher education, your car is tagged with a green envelope.

Guess what? You can kiss your lucky day goodbye, because you just got a parking ticket for parking your car in a non-parking zone. And thus, the scam begins.

We, as students, pay $40 for a parking pass during the semester. Granted, it does say on the pass that just because you have a parking pass does not guarantee that there’s a spot, somewhere, for you. But why do we have to pay so much for something we may or may not be able to use? This may seem a cheap statement but $40 is too much money to pay for a “maybe.”

There are more students entering the college each semester than there are graduating or transferring. The college, knowing this, has failed to accommodate for this occurrence and instead punishes students for its negligence.

If there are too many students and not enough parking spaces, where does the college want us to park? After paying student and parking fees at registration, financially desperate students are expected to pay an additional $25 every time they go to school and find inadequate parking.

And if that isn’t bad enough, some of our own instructors are taking our money out of our pockets. Instructor permits allow professors to park in student spaces if their lots are full – but their lots are rarely full after the first month of the semester. This takes away spaces from students who are not allowed to park in instructor spaces and forces them to pay $25 for a parking ticket on top of the $40 they already paid for parking.

Also, don’t think that you’re safe if you park without a permit the first two weeks of class. Parking permits are not required the first two weeks of class, so it makes sense that parking tickets would not be handed out during this time for that reason. However, parking tickets were handed out during the first two weeks of class, which makes the college’s “nice” gesture towards students obsolete.

Many students have even received traffic tickets for parking in the residential area across the street. Receiving a ticket for parking in the residential areas is significantly more than the tickets given by RCC. But then again, if the residents are away at work during class hours, what difference does it make if student cars are in front of their houses? As long as the streets and driveways are clear, there really shouldn’t be a problem.

What RCC fails to realize is that in order for students to do well in class, they need to get there first. This means that students need a guaranteed place to park their cars that’s free of lurking vultures out to ticket them.

If the college plans to continue to make students pay $40 for an unusable parking pass, allow instructors to park in student spaces, not provide adequate parking and pass out parking tickets like candy, then as long as students’ cars are on RCC property and are not blocking traffic, we should be able to park in the cross-hatched zones.

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