Construction increases parking perils

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At the beginning of every semester, parking is a seemingly never-ending problem. But this Spring, students get a new twist to the cruel joke that is our parking situation.

Three hundred parking spaces have been eliminated from the already slim-pickings to make way for the new student services building and its construction.

To make matters worse for students, the entire top level of the parking structure will be converted to staff parking to make up for the staff spaces lost in Lot B.

Which makes sense: professors unable to park would mean they would not be able to get to their class, which in turn means no classes. And no classes means your bloody, honk-filled battle to swoop in on that one open spot that was vacated exactly one second prior, means absolutely nothing.

While the new Student Services building will combine the many places a new student has to go to get started at Riverside City College into a “one-stop shop,” we can’t help but wonder why our ongoing parking problems have seemed to go unaccounted for. And not only unaccounted for, but made worse.

It’s understandable why it seems parking today wasn’t taken into consideration, as it takes years to plan any new building projects and construction, and the new(ish) parking structure was only completed in 2006 … taking nearly 10 years to realize maybe one parking structure addition wasn’t completely sufficient.

In December 2011, the then president of RCC, Cynthia Azari, accepted the Strategic Planning executive Council recommendation to construct a new Student Services Building.

When planning new buildings and anything new on campus, growth is taken into consideration, but seeing as how even with the parking structure and several other lots, parking has always been a problem for the majority of the fall and spring semesters, it seems the growth was miscalculated.

According to Wolde-Ab Isaac, interim president of RCC, plans for the parking situation are in the works, at least somewhere in the Facilities Master Plan. But with how long it takes for the state and school systems to work, we wouldn’t hold our breath. We suggest students take advantage of the free bus pass available to students or carpool.

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