by Matt Cresto
Residents on Third Street between A and B Street proposed for “resident parking only” in front of their homes at the La Verne City Council meeting on Feb. 22. The proposal was passed and has raised concerns among University of La Verne students.
The proposal keeps ULV students and staff from parking in front of the residents’ homes between A Street and B Street, parallel to Third Street.
The ordinance states that only residents are allowed to park in front of the homes from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The city will enforce the ordinance within the next few weeks. Signs must be posted before any violations can be announced.
Problems occurred when residents were not able to park in front of their own homes.
They claimed that students are blocking their walkways and driveways forcing them to walk greater distances than they would care to reach their front doors.
Resident Jim Mattox parks his car behind his house and does not have a problem finding parking, but believes that it is a problem for visitors.
“Eight months out of the year, it is a real pain to park out front,” he said.
Representing the University at the meeting was Director of Campus Safety and Transportation John Lentz and Executive Vice President Philip Hawkey.
Lentz and Hawkey battled, but were only able to keep the University-owned houses open to all drivers.
One of the situations that the City Council had to take into consideration was that the University owns two of the houses on the 1800 block of Third Street, the International House and the Human Resources Building. The compromise was for 20-minute zones to be placed in front of the two houses.
“The Human Resources and International House have requested that the areas in front of their offices be designated as a 20-minute only zones, because you need to have the ability for both of those places for people to pop in and out,” said Lentz.
Students and staff will be able to park on Third Street in front of the B Street parking lot owned by the University. Students may only park on the north side of the street facing west in front of the B Street lot. If they are caught on the south side facing east, they will cited.
“It is an unrestricted area on the north side of the street in front of the B street parking lot,” said Lentz.
One of the arguments that Lentz and Hawkey stated was that there is a University side to the parking trouble as well. A main argument argument was that students have to park somewhere too.
They argued that if Third Street becomes restricted, then students will just be forced to park farther away. A concern was that the only thing that this would do is push the problem further out creating conflict in other parts of the neighborhood.
“Pretty soon they will want to restrict the north side of Bonita, then B Street, then A Street, Second Street and pretty soon it will just spread all out.
“My position was don’t do it because you are just going to drive the problem away. Our faculty and students have to park somewhere,” said Lentz.
The third attempt to stay afloat by the University representatives was the common sense of buying a house near the University. The point was that the residents have to expect some traffic and parking near their homes when they live on the same street as a university.
The comeback by the residents was that problems like this have never occurred. With the increase in enrollment, the University has had problems with parking throughout the campus this year.
Lentz believes that enrollment is the core problem in controlling the Third Street parking.
“This is like an 18-hour operation. People start classes at 7:30 in the morning and are going until 11 or 11:30 at night. You got people coming in cycles,” said Lentz.
Students are showing up for classes while the parking lots are still full from classes in session at the time. The students looking for parking have no lots to park in, so they proceed to the side streets in the area.
Once the classes that were in session at the time are dismissed, the parking lots open up.
The problem is that students have already parked on the street by the time the lots are open, creating conflict with the neighboring residents.
The residents drive by and only notice that the parking lots are half full and do not realize the cycles that occur with the students commuting in and out.
The University is making changes and proposing new ideas for students and staff to find parking. With the College of Law school moving out to Ontario, this will decrease the population at the main campus.
Two new parking lots are being looked into by the University. One would be placed behind the AAIC building, just off D Street.
Another possible lot would be placed near the Oaks, across E Street.
Lentz said they have been looking into a possible shuttle service with the Pomona Fairplex, but are not sure how feasible that is for the University.
“In the near future, about our only options are the new lot on E street and paving that lot north of the Oaks,” said Lentz.
In addition to the concerns that the new petition has caused, a recent incident involving the Stu-Han parking lot has also received some attention.
Two students were asked to move their vehicles. The reason behind this was that half of the parking lot across from Stu-Han is owned by the city of La Verne.
Lentz said that the problem was not because the students parked there, but that it appeared that the two students were storing their cars there for long periods of time.
Lentz said that there is no problem with students parking on the east side of the parking lot belonging to the city, just as long as cars are not there for extended periods of time.
The city of La Verne has plans to paint their side of the lot orange; although this will be the only change made to the parking lot, students are still welcomed to park on that side.
Staff writer Angelique B. D’Silva contributed to this story