Parking issues highlight need for shuttle

Changes continue to happen at Del Mar College. In addition to the progress at the new Oso Creek Campus, notable changes to the former East Campus are taking place. Aside from the name change to Heritage Campus, which took place at the beginning of the fall semester, the most obvious is the demolition in progress of the historic and often haunted Heritage Hall, which was built in 1943.

The ongoing demolition project started during winter break. Unfortunately, the flattening of Heritage Hall caused the closing of employee parking behind the Memorial Classrooms building and the spaces between Richardson Performance Hall and the Harvin Student Center, which means employee parking is being redirected to other areas on campus, specifically the parking lot between Richardson and Kosar Street.

Students will now have to park farther out as a result, and for students taking classes anywhere close to the Harvin Center this will create a gridlock as students circle like buzzards trying to locate an open spot close to class.

This is just the beginning. With more projects to come, the parking nightmare will continue to increase. In the end of spring, the Harvin Center remodel will send some offices into temporary buildings. Those temporary buildings will have to go somewhere.

What is a student to do? What happens when students are forced to park even farther out after circling the parking lots for 30 minutes waiting for an empty spot to show up only to give up and park somewhere on the perimeter along Norton Street, Edwards Street or Baldwin Boulevard. Now imagine having to do that during inclement weather. If last winter is an indicator of what to expect, we could be in for a long one.

It’s time to bring back the parking shuttle to help students who will be forced to navigate the long, dreaded walk from the tail end of nowhere, walking through puddles and hoping an umbrella won’t fail because of a heavy gust of wind.

In 2017, the General Academic/Music Building, GAMB, began construction, creating parking issues for students, faculty and staff. During that time, a parking shuttle was available to help get to classes on time and avoid the consequences of having to walk long distances.

It’s time to bring it back. Why not make it easier for students to get to class without having to worry about where they park because the school they love, loves them back? Doing this gives students one less thing to stress over.

The improvements to Del Mar College will definitely be appreciated and will benefit everyone from students to faculty and staff to the community but with all good things comes sacrifice. Why not soften the blow of the loss of convenient parking by making an effort to supply just a little bit of comfort in the form of a short ride from Point A to Point B and being able to put a smile of the faces of those students you help along the way.

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