Constantly lit parking garage draws complaints

With the new parking lot structure, on
16th and Broadway, set to be up and running
this fall, there should be little to complain
about for the many parking-weary
students at San Diego City College.

However, with the structure’s lights
being turned-on throughout the night, even
while it’s not open for use and with no construction being done while the lights are
on, Construction Manager for City College,
Tom Fine, has been met with complaints
that the structure has been using unnecessary

“The lights are still needed in order to
provide security lighting through the end of
construction,” Fine said. “The site has experienced a few break ins and the lights are needed to provide security lighting in the garage.”

The issue was first raised in an article in
the San Diego Union-Tribune Feb. 3. Members
of the community found that every
light in the structure was being put to use
even as it sat empty beside the 5 freeway at

“I had driven past it a few times at night
and wondered why all those lights were on
when it didn’t look like it was being used at
all,” said Lisa Phelps, a student at City College. “I figured (the construction crew) knew what they were doing, but they should still be mindful of the times we’re living in and wasting too much energy.”

Fine said the lights in the parking structure
were being used because a lighting
control panel had not yet been installed, and
the only options were to have all the lights
turned on or off.

Since the complaints and the article in
the Union Tribune, Fine has taken action,
leaving only the emergency lights on at
night, which is only one-third of all the lights in the structure.

“It is anticipated (that) the parking structure will be fully open for students and
faculty starting in the 2010 fall semester,”
Fine said.

The 10-story, 700-space garage is part
of a career technology center, and will be
equipped with photovoltaic solar panels that
will help the building conserve energy.

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Constantly lit parking garage draws complaints