Parking Not a Trivial Concern at Longview
by IAN M. SCOTT
Students, staff and facul-ty of Long-view Commu-nity College have a prob-lem. The par-king situation is rapidly ap-proaching overload.
This problem can be seen easily with a quick glance at the parking lots during the peak times of the morning and evening. All of the lots near the buildings are completely full and even the overflow lot is nearly filled. The only spaces left are found in the extreme corners of the overflow lot.
For anyone with experience with other, larger campuses, the distance issue isn’t a problem. The distance from any given parking space to the farthest building is only about a brisk, five-minute walk. Compare that to the 10 to 20 or even 30-minute hikes common at most colleges across the country. The Longview situation seems like a dream.
The problem for most students is that even this small amount of time isn’t enough. Most of us have jobs before and/or after our classes. We have a very narrow window of time in which to park, get to class, get back to our car and get to our next destination.
Another consideration is that many students come to Longview to be pampered. Longview has a reputation of having an easy going, comfortable and enjoyable learning environment. The idea that this would include good parking, close to whatever building a student’s class is in, is a very logical conclusion.
Finally, Longview has about 1500 total parking spaces including the overflow lot. At this time about 80 spaces are currently being taken up by the construction site. With the growth in student enrollment over the last few semesters, and particularly this semester, it’s obvious that even the available, far away spaces aren’t going to be available for long.
As a growing campus, Longview is going to need extra space in the near future. Since the majority of the students have busy, fast-paced schedules or expectations of a relaxed atmosphere, the extra space is going to need to be near the buildings.
The evidence is appearing this semester. Many students are already seeking alternative solutions to parking out in the depths of the overflow lot. They can be found parking in the crosswalks, on the grass, in the circle drive and the doublewide stretches of the driveways, and even in the staff/faculty lots.
The message is becoming clear. Either provide a place for the students to park or we’ll make a place for ourselves.