Parking Nightmare at City College


There are about four permits for every parking spot and students struggle to find parking on campus. It can take them up to hour to park on City College’s lots. Photo credit: Celia Jimenez

Roberto de la Peña

If you drive to City College, you might have noticed that parking spaces are very limited.

According to the San Diego Community College District Police Department, there are approximately 1062 student parking spaces on campus. Though that might appear to be a big number this fall it has proven to be insufficient.

City College annual reports have shown that enrollment numbers have decreased by about 1,000 between 2011 and 2015. On the other hand, the SDCCD police department reports show that parking permit purchases have increased by about 800 during the same time frame.

During the 2011 spring semester, 3,449 parking permits were purchased at City College. By spring 2015, that number rose to 4,243. That means that for every parking spot, there are four parking permits. New parking structures were added in 2012 to accommodate the parking permit increase, but that only introduced about 290 new student parking spaces.

City College parking assistant, Andrea Hall, believes that the lack of parking spaces might be caused by Miramar and Mesa college students who take classes at City.

Previous enrollment trends show that City College is losing students, but the school has not yet released its 2016-2017 report, which could indicate that the Fall 2016 semester has experienced a substantial enrollment increase. If that’s the case, that might explain the parking saturation.

Ricardo Ortega is one of the students who drives to school. In order to get a decent parking spot, he arrives at 6:20 A.M and waits about two hours before his 8:30 A.M. class begins.

“You try to get a class and even if you try to come in early, it’s just so overcrowded that there’s not really much that you can do.” Ortega a nursing student said. Ricardo explained that if he were to arrive at City after 6:20, it might take him an hour or more to find a parking space.

The parking situation has pushed many City College students to search for alternatives.

Some students taking classes in the P, E, and B buildings, find it more convenient to park on Park Blvd. There are usually many parking spots on the other side of the 5 freeway overpass.

In an email City College also encouraged students to park at Inspiration Point on Park Boulevard which is also near the 5 Freeway entrances.

Terrell Hall, a City College student, finds that public transit is also a convenient alternative. He catches the trolley in Mission Valley and it takes him about 40 minutes to arrive on campus. That is a commute that can be shorter than the driving time of many students once you factor in the time it takes to find a parking spot.

Hall uses an MTS regional monthly pass that offers him unlimited rides on all of San Diego’s buses and trolleys. This pass costs $72 a month. However, college students can buy for $178 a semester pass that is valid from Aug. 15 through Dec. 31.