Volume 134, Issue 6
Double Parked Cars Add to Growing Traffic Problems
Parking shortage leads to blocked spaces in front of Science building and on Phelan Ave.
By Tomas Valdespino
The afternoon sun feels good and the weekend is full of possibilities.
That Monday morning test is a life time away.
Besides, you've got all Sunday to study for that .
You pull out of your parking spot and find that you can't move an inch, some person is double parked on the street and is blocking everyone from moving.
"When you double park it's a safety hazard, " says Catherine Pacheco, 45. "It stops traffic and forces cars to go around you."
"People should be courteous and pull over or circle the block instead of holding up traffic," says Pacheco.
No matter if you're coming in or out of the reservoir your traffic problems are not over, they've only just begun.
Driving down Phelan Ave. is no easy task.
There is traffic coming from both directions as well as people getting dropped off and picked up from City College and Riordan High School.
"I see people double parked alot," says Elissa Velez, a student majoring in Computer Science.
"On Monday, Wednesday, Friday classes it's especially crowded around noon," says Velez.
"For the past 20 years parking has been a problem," says Police Chief Gerald DeGirolamo.
"Faculty, as well as students, have all been having trouble parking," says DeGirolamo. "It has been worse in the last few semesters with the growth in student population."
A week-long observational survey on traffic was conducted from September 30 to October 4.
What this reporter found was quite the eye-opener.
Over 20 cars were found to be double parked in front of the Science building and on Phelan Ave. Eight of those were spotted in the first ten minutes of the observation.
On three occasions a car double parked for a pick up and drop off causing a major jam in front of the Science building.
There is only one direction of traffic in front of the Science building and when three or four cars are back up it creates a traffic jam .
At least five cars avoided double parking by parking in a red zone, the bus stop or a yellow maintenance parking area.
In addition, a truck drove up in front of the Science building, parked in a red zone (partially blocking the crosswalk) and the driver got out.
Approximately ten minutes later he returned with a sandwich (my best guess is ham and cheese) and a soda. He ate his lunch and watched as the other cars had to drive around the truck.
Of the 20 cars double parked, over half were due to picking some up or dropping someone off.
Some cars double park for only a minute.
This is enough time for the driver or passenger to run inside a building to let someone know their ride had arrived or drop some late individual off, leaving a row of cars stopped and honking behind them.
"Traffic is bad depending on what time I get to school " says Caroline Urrutia, a History major. "If I arrive early then I can park on the street no problem but after 10 a.m., forget it."
"If I park in the reservoir I know the traffic will be bad after class," says Urrutia.
"The police are doing everything they can do." said DeGirolamo. "Double parking is not a priority."
"If an officer sees a car double parked they tell thecar to keep moving," says DeGirolamo.
"Right now we are short handed and busy dealing with more serious problems and calls on campus."