The parking problem – subject of much grief on the University of La Verne campus – has expanded to Old Town La Verne, where shop owners are looking for ways to keep students out of their parking lots.
Owners of the shops along D Street blame University students for deterring business since students park in areas designated for costumers.
“We’ve had a lot of complaints,” said Pam Rasmussen, postal manager at Ellsworth’s Stationers.
Parking along D Street is currently limited to a two hour maximum.
“The police are not enforcing the two hour parking, and businesses are suffering loss of income,” said Philippe Sigal, owner of Sigal Diamonds.
To find possible solutions to the problem, shop owners, city officials, La Verne residents and University of La Verne representatives have formed a parking committee.
Their ideas include adding parking meters, although some do not think this would be effective.
“Meters drove business away from Old Town Pomona to the point where it collapsed,” said Betty Kalousek owner of Generations Antiques & Art.
Other options include reducing the two-hour parking to 90 minutes. This could stop students who park in old town for their two-hour classes.
“At this point the committee is headed at the right direction,” said Scott Pickwith, La Verne chief of police.
University officials have also discussed the idea of adding a parking structure.
As the panel works out a long-term solution, shop owners hope that the police will also enforce parking policies.
“We are discussing better ways to better enforce the parking,” Pickwith said. “We have identified days of the week and times when we feel parking is at its worse.”
However, enforcing parking does not guarantee an improvement in the situation.
“I know we are writing a lot of tickets. I’m not sure how much impact we are causing,” Pickwith said.
Some business owners think students should understand the problem and not park in areas designed for costumers.
“A lot of it has to do with courtesy and playing by the rules,” Kalousek said.
Some students say they do obey the parking ordinances.
“I never park there unless I’m going to the actual shops,” said Diana Crain, a senior biology major.
Shop owners hope to find a fair solution to the problem.
“We are trying to help with the college, police and everyone around to make it a better atmosphere for everyone,” Rasmussen said.
Laura Bucio can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.