30-minute outrage in Parking Lot 1

It’s just insulting, folks. Your collective actions (or lack thereof) continue to give power to those who will oppress you. You won’t stand up; you won’t fight, and that is why you will continue to lose.

While you sheep were smacking your bubble gum and texting on your clearly-smarter-than-you-are phones, they turned an entire strip of your parking lot into a student trap.

30-minute parking? Now there’s a top-notch idea. Which one of you came up with that little gem?

Where I pay rent, we care about someone price gouging parking spots that already belong to us.

The new and improved 30-minute parking in Lot 1 is quickly turning into a goldmine for whoever is getting the dividends. And woe unto anyone clever enough to park without paying; our friendly neighborhood folks with badges will ruin your day with a ridiculously overpriced ticket that you will not get out of paying, no matter how dumb the whole premise is.

Supporters of these brilliant new green-painted parking spots (Please stand up, because we don’t know who you are) would argue that the spots are designed for visitors of Pierce who only need that half-hour of parking, not students. Supporters would say that the extra revenue is going back into the campus.

It doesn’t matter what motivation led to snatching an entire row of parking inside an area Pierce students already pay to park in. All that matters is that in a severe shortage of convenient parking, students are being disregarded in exchange for a little revenue by the school and a bunch of revenue for the county of Los Angeles.

Okay, for you economics folks out there who will quickly jump to defend paid parking, consider this: for thirty minutes of metered parking just about anywhere in the L.A. Basin, it costs two quarters. Yet at our little junior college, made up primarily of middle class to lower middle class students, you’ll need three times that amount every half-hour to avoid a citation.

And don’t think for a second you’ll slide into a spot and no one will notice. The sherriff presence on campus ensures constant patrols along that row. You will pay, one way or the other.

Sure, there’s plenty of parking available—if you take classes near the back of Shepard Stadium. You can always find a spot near the agriculture building. Of course, you’ll need half an hour to walk wherever it is you are going.

I notice there aren’t any paid spots in the staff parking area. I also notice that even though there is a half-empty parking lot behind the cop shop (that only cops are unauthorized to park in), the first twenty or so spots in one row are still reserved for black and white sedans.

What, sherriffs can’t take a few spots on the staff side? Sure, they aren’t employees of Pierce, but they certainly aren’t students either. After a few weeks of walking to work after they parked their cars at the Pierce College Farm Center, they may feel differently.

So here’s how it breaks down: spots have been designated as 30-minute parking that you pay for at 300% of the area’s normal parking rate. You have already been charged to park in that parking lot, yet you cannot park in those spots.

Citations are being written, and that money doesn’t even go back to Pierce—it goes to the county. It will cost you $30 each time you get caught. If you don’t pay within 21 days, that price doubles.

So you pay to clear a citation you received at Pierce College for parking in a lot you paid to gain access to at the beginning of this semester. That money is then funneled back into the county’s coffers, removing Pierce from the situation altogether. Yeah, that makes sense.

The parking restrictions make it more and more difficult to find parking anywhere near your classrooms. You suffer while the college and county continue to tax your wallet with fees, tickets, hiked up unit costs, class availability, and yet more parking issues.

The fix is simple: First, get rid of those stupid green parking spots. No one can do anything on this campus in half an hour anyway thanks to the current parking fiasco. Next, move those cop cars to behind the sheriff’s station where they belong. Then move all staff parking to the outside perimeters of the campus (Stadium, agriculture, etc) and give us back our parking lot.

Will that happen? No, of course not. You have already given them the power to do this, and they certainly won’t give it up now; that’s life. When stupid policies get put into place, it’s usually because no one was paying any attention until it was too late.

Perhaps the next time something like this gets brought up, you’ll pay a bit more attention. Or, you can just bow your head and put up with whatever hair-brained idea they use to further squeeze the blood out of your stone. That’s what sheep do.