Students overcome struggles with first-day parking

Sean Keister

Sacramento State students returned to class this week, where many found parking easier than last semester.

Nancy Fox, senior director of University Transportation and Parking Services said they anticipate there will be more than enough parking for everyone throughout the semester.

“While traditionally we seem to experience more vehicles and traffic congestion on campus during the first few days of each semester, parking and traffic normally settle down by the end of the first week,” Fox said.

Bethany Hutchinson, a senior child development major, said the best way to get a spot is to arrive early.

“I think as long as you get here before 9 a.m., parking isn’t a problem,” Hutchinson said.

Joy Kuckelmann, a senior business major, said she easily found a spot the first day.

“I think it is funny that they have people waving traffic when there is no traffic problem,” Kuckelmann said.

Sac State offers three parking structures and eight parking lots that are open to students.

Jennifer Castellanos, a junior social work major, said she has noticed an improvement in spaces available since last semester.

“Ever since they added more spaces (in parking structure III) it has been a lot better,” Castellanos said.

Students arriving later than 9 a.m. found parking more challenging.

Carlos Grajeda, a senior film major, noticed when he arrived at 9:30 a.m., many of the lots were already full.

“I ended up driving as far out as I could,” Grajeda said. “More people were coming, and no one was leaving so I just said, ‘Forget it.’ “

A semester pass for students costs $159. An alternative many students use is buying a daily parking pass, which costs $6, but that only saves money for students who don’t come to class more than once a week.

Trevor Robbins, a junior business major, had issues with the daily parking pass machine.

“I went to get a pass and it was out of paper, so it basically stole my money,” Robbins said. “I got pretty lucky though because I didn’t get a ticket.”

Another alternative for student commuters is carpooling, which divides the cost of the semester permit pass by the number of carpoolers and offers preferential parking.

Maddie Wood, a junior communications major, carpools and noticed that the lot did not seem as full this semester.

“Maybe less people are here because they can’t afford to go this year,” Wood said.

According to Fox, there are typically between 1,000 and 3,000 available parking spaces at all times on campus throughout the semester, including during the first week of classes.

Nick Robbins, a senior finance major, said he does not even bother to park on campus anymore because of how packed the parking lots are, but says it is mostly during the first few weeks.

“It gets better after all the slackers stop coming to class,” Robbins said.