The Campus apartment parking lot is full one an average Monday morning. | Photo by Luis Lopez

OPINION: Parking pains

What are students doing to avoid parking on campus?
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What are students doing to avoid parking on campus?

One thing that I was most shocked about after moving off campus was the impossibility of parking. I had heard rumors here and there but it never settled on me, the idea of living off campus sounds great, right? Little did I know that part of adulting here at Humboldt State was that you had to suffer through a shortage of parking.

I live in McKinleyville, and I had to learn to plan my whole morning around parking. I wake up early and I leave at least an hour before my class so that I have enough time to find a spot. Some mornings are smoother and it will take me about fifteen minutes, but more often than not there are mornings where I’d rather walk on bare feet from McKinleyville to campus. The more people I met at HSU, the more I’d learn their strategies to avoid the dreaded daily task.

I spoke with some students about this issue and here are their thoughts. As I asked these students about parking and driving to school, their first initial reaction would be a sigh or a sound of frustration.

Justin Eicher, is one of many students who chooses to bike to school.

“I park far away [from school] and bike from there to avoid this crap,”Eicher said. “That’s honestly the way to do it.”

I was surprised to hear that a fair amount of the students that I talked to had a pretty similar trick. Based off of the people I briefly interviewed, a good number of students live within range of HSU and will walk or bike, on the other hand, many students drive to a certain location and bike or take public transit to school from there. I have found myself considering the same thing on the worst of days, it sounds so much easier to go and park at a friend’s house who lives near a bus stop and go from there.

“On the days that I have to be at school all day, I will drive from my house to the bus stop in Eureka where I live, and take the bus to school,” Evan Goetz, a forestry major at HSU, said. “It saves me the effort and money to make the trip.”

The issue of parking has become a game of how to avoid it or how to get there early enough to grab a spot. The students that have class at 8 a.m. tend to get the better end of the stick, but the rest of the students that don’t have a class that early need to plan accordingly.

“I have to go to a friend’s house who lives closer to school than I do, park at their house, and take the bus with them so I don’t have to deal with parking at HSU,” Lauren Gaul, another student who lives in McKinleyville, said.

Respectfully, limited parking should encourage more carpooling to and from campus, and many of the students that I talked to said they rode their bike for environmental reasons. The strategies that some of these students have are logical, but some have to go out of their way to avoid parking. Students find what works best for them whether they like it or not.

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