As the spring semester advances and students’ schedules settle, things become routine, except for parking.
With the deletion of parking spaces as the result of construction projects, there is no appreciable improvement of congestion, even with the addition of about 150 spaces along Saunders Street, which falls short of the reported 197.
There is no immediate evidence that parking needs will be relieved in the near future. On any given busy weekday students drive around the parking lots, civilly asking pedestrians whether they are leaving or staying. This scene is a normal occurrence in the parking lots at Riverside Community College. Desperate students can also be seen parking along red curbs, in residential lots or on dirt hills.
In regards to the construction of new parking spots, the need to build upwards, instead of outwards, is evident. The construction of the parking garage is the only solution that is in the works, albeit an expensive one. Whether the parking structure will actually accommodate parking needs or just barely keep pace with an ever-increasing student population remains to be seen.
RCC lacks a trolley system to ferry students to campus from the surrounding neighborhoods. A trolley system could be a fluid solution, serving to reverse parking and traffic disorder, while fostering a greater sense of community.
Furthermore, Riverside Transit Agency could cooperate with the college and ease parking woes by providing student discounted fares and passes.
There are other options for students to get to campus that help to ease the parking situation, such as carpooling or biking to school. But these are limited solutions for a student population as widely distributed as RCC’s.
As of yet, increasing parking space has not proved successful in enabling students to get to class easier. Other options for transportation to campus involving RCC and city participation must be explored.
In the meantime, students must make do with the parking spaces added on Saunders Street or any other additional spaces and hope that parking enforcement continues to pass them by.