Many students and faculty first learned of recent changes in La Verne parking when they received tickets during the first days back from summer break.
Parking policy has changed on campus in the Wilson Library parking lot, the area around the Honors House, International and Study Abroad Center and Stu-Han.
Two friends of Patricia Carrillo, a senior criminology major and Stu-Han resident, received tickets from the La Verne Police Department after parking for only an hour in what once was ULV permit parking.
“No one told us, not even when we got our permit; we got no information about that,” Carrillo said.
The parking around the Honors House has also been somewhat affected by the changes, although indirectly.
Students recall signs being in place around the ISAC and Honors House exempting them from having to have a parking permit issued by the city.
One of the signs was taken down, and the police department began citing vehicles parked there.
Tom Anderson, a senior journalism major and student worker for the Honors House, was one of several students to receive a ticket recently.
“In the three years that I’ve parked here, it’s been fine as long as you had a permit and didn’t block parking adjacent to the Honors House,” Anderson said.
The University has been working with city representatives in a parking committee to come up with possible solutions to parking shortages in Old Town La Verne.
During these meetings, the University and city of La Verne representatives came to an agreement that would settle some of the parking problems.
Local merchants complained about students and faculty parking in their allotted parking spaces.
The parking slots in Old Town La Verne had a two-hour limit, allowing students and faculty to park, go to class and return before time ran out.
The city has now changed the parking limit from two hours to 90 minutes in hopes that students and faculty will be discouraged from parking in those slots.
Another agreement made between the University and the city was to remove the orange (open parking) section in the Wilson Library parking lot, making the entire lot open to students with ULV parking permits.
The agreement also called for the city to take away a section of ULV parking near Stu-Han. The number of parking spots would not change, just the location.
Before any changes were supposed to be made, the City Council had to approve of the proposal.
Hal Fredericksen, director of community development, said the council approved of the proposal in July and was implemented in late August.
“There was a significant number of citations to all parties – students, customers and merchants,” Fredericksen said. “The police department has a renewed commitment to improve.”
Michael Nunez, director of campus safety and transportation, said he was not aware of the council’s decision until the first day of school.
“I’m not bothered that they changed the rules. I’m bothered that they didn’t tell anybody,” Anderson said. “This amounts to robbery on the city’s part, as far as I’m concerned.”
Campus safety is being more lenient with violators. Nunez said campus safety will not start citing violations concerning parking permits on campus until Oct. 2.
However, this does not apply to violations concerning parking in the handicapped or carpool spaces.
The University is a part of the Southern California Air Quality Management District. As a part of the AQMD, the University must report the amount of traffic it produces and must set goals to help minimize the amount of air pollution it produces.
“We have to pay the AQMD if we don’t meet our goals. It’s like a fine,” Nunez said.
Keeping the AQMD goals in mind, Nunez encourages students to carpool or use alternate forms of transportation, such as the Metrolink, to ease traffic and air pollution.
A long-term plan has been devised in dealing with the ongoing lack of parking.
A parking lot will be allotted behind the new Campus Center, where the baseball field and Old Gym are currently located. A definite timeline is not set for construction right now, however.
The parking changes will be reviewed by the parking committee in six months.
“We are optimistic that we’re moving in the right direction,” Fredericksen said.
Andres Rivera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.