LCC Parking

LCC parking at a premium during campus expansion

2012-09-18T20:30:00Z 2012-09-21T16:53:32Z LCC parking at a premium during campus expansionBy Leslie Slape / The Daily News Longview Daily News
September 18, 2012 8:30 pm  • 

Fall quarter at Lower Columbia College began with the sound of horns honking and drivers cussing as they fought over parking spaces.

"It was like Christmas or Black Friday," said Amanda Correia, 23, a criminal justice major. "That's why I choose to take the bus. I don't have to worry about the headache."

Student cars lined 15th Avenue, Maple Street and residential streets all around the campus. Some drivers gave up and parked illegally, such as a car that police ticketed Monday in a bus loading zone by the student center.

Lack of parking has been a student gripe for many years at LCC, where most people try to park in the popular 15th Avenue lot near the bookstore, student center, admissions building and the Rose Center. The other most popular lot is the one on Maple Street, bordered by the Main Building and the LCC library.

But in August, LCC began building its new science building on the Maple Street parking lot, and 182 parking spaces disappeared. Eventually there will be a large parking lot west of the science building, at the now demolished Maple Terrace Apartments. But for now that space is being used for contractor trailers and construction equipment.

"They said (parking) was a nightmare before," said Chris Devine, 22, of Rainier, who's majoring in information technology. "Now it's even worse."

Devine said his mother drove him to campus, but she wanted to wait while he purchased his books Monday morning. All 194 slots in the 15th Avenue lot were taken. She drove into the Triangle Center across the street and waited in her car at WinCo, returning to the 15th Avenue lot several times to see if a space opened up, he said.

"It was like a traffic jam," he said.

"You have to show up before 8 or there's no parking," said Zach Davis, 19, of Rainier, a computer science major.

He rode with his brother Eric Davis, 24, who said he finally found a space in the visitors short-term parking area between Main and the Rose Center. Davis returned at 1:30 p.m. and said the parking situation was "just as bad."

Brother Garth Davis, 22, who's majoring in medicine, said parking was a hassle even during the less-crowded summer quarter. He said most days his family arrives on campus around 6:30 a.m. to guarantee a space, then uses the wireless Internet to do homework.

"Everyone jokes we live here," he said.

Sitting in the parking lot has given them a vantage point for "parking wars" — rear-enders, fender-benders and near misses, Garth Davis said.

"Once or twice a month I see people hit a parked car," he said.

The man in charge of campus parking said other colleges have it worse.

"We have one of the highest student-to-parking ratios," said Nolan Wheeler, LCC vice president of administration. He said part of the problem is that students are "focused on 15th." Lots I and J near the baseball field had empty slots Monday and Tuesday, he said.

He said the college has made these arrangements to ease the parking crunch:

• Two years ago the college created the 144-slot lot J on the old soccer field.

• Regal Cinemas is allowing students to use of 30 slots in the Triangle Cinema lot between 8 a.m. and noon.

• The college has freed up nearly 30 slots in lot I near Head Start that formerly were reserved.

• Students may enter a lottery to win one of 20 reserved spaces in lot B next to the vocational building.

Wheeler asked that students be patient and remember "it's all temporary. As soon as the contractor does not need the new lot for staging, we'll put on the last layer of asphalt and open it up."

Copyright 2015 Longview Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(17) Comments

  1. Cheney119er
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    Cheney119er - September 18, 2012 8:58 pm
    How can college students be this dumb? The parking lot behind the baseball field/head start is bigger than two football fields. Besides the entire Old West Side is wide open for parking, just walk a little. You are supposed to be attempting to act like adults by this age.
  2. just sayin'
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    just sayin' - September 19, 2012 9:15 am
    LCC made the decision to demolish the parking lot on Maple and use for the area for staging for the new construction. This puts a horrific burden on students and neighborhoods as a place to park is searched out taking time and making one late for classes. If the college officials had a brain they would set up a lot in town with a shuttle to the college. The college cares nothing about its students, they are not a user friendly college. The almighty dollar is their only concern.
  3. kelsograd
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    kelsograd - September 19, 2012 9:52 am
    2 words - bi cycle
  4. just sayin'
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    just sayin' - September 19, 2012 11:14 am
    That is a long way to walk especially for disabled or elderly students. There should have been a better solution prior to demolishing the existing parking lot on Maple.
  5. JustMe27
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    JustMe27 - September 19, 2012 1:08 pm
    Excellent advice. Anyone living within five miles of the college who is not physically disabled should be riding. The city is flat, the weather is mild, there really isn't a better place to get around by bicycle. Saves time, money and frustration.
  6. Cheney119er
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    Cheney119er - September 19, 2012 6:12 pm
    Justme27 that's the smartest thing I've read on this website in years. There is plenty of parking there are just way way way too many cars. I commute for work 5 miles between two stores and it takes me 20 minutes and that's only a couple slower than I could drive (but I don't monkey around I thump it). I can spare a couple minutes but $4 a gallon petrol is for fools, rain shine light dark you name it. I wax my car once in a while and just smile.
  7. Cheney119er
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    Cheney119er - September 19, 2012 6:21 pm
    Just sayin my Dad is 80 and walks 25 miles a week just for the exercise. Do you mean disabled or obese because the real disabled get handicapped parking. Seems to me the obese need the exercise anyway. No colleges offer shuttle services from park and rides, that's what the bus is for, ride it and pay for it, if you wish. Nobody is going to answer this for you. The day of the private automobile is ending the sooner the better as far as I'm concerned.
  8. greenqueen
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    greenqueen - September 20, 2012 8:13 am
    Horrific burden huh. Interesting way of interpreting having to plan ahead to be on time for class and walk a little. How horrific. If students were to use a shuttle service, they would have to plan ahead extra time for that as well.
    As an LCC graduate who had to hoof it to class on numerous occasions, I say get over it. Life isn't easy. Get used to it.
  9. greenqueen
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    greenqueen - September 20, 2012 8:17 am
    I agree with walking and biking, all the way. However, I'm thinking that the majority of LCC students are non-traditional students raising children. It's not practical to put baby on the back of a bicycle to drop off at daycare or school on the way to class.
  10. my3centsworth
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    my3centsworth - September 20, 2012 9:12 am
    Mmmmm....the parking lot behind the baseball field/head start isn't large enough to allow all of the spaces needed to park the number of cars looking for a space. I do agree with you that the Old West Side is available for parking. My experience with that this morning was an elderly lady cursing at me that I am "cluttering" up her street and continued to scream profanity at me for parking in front of her home. Great way to start my day.
  11. my3centsworth
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    my3centsworth - September 20, 2012 10:39 am
    I am one of those students who work, pay my taxes, and support my local community. However, because of the dress requirements at my job, I would never consider "hoofing" it to work before or after leaving LCC's campus. This winter I'm concerned with parking in the Old West Side area in the dark and leaving campus at close to 10pm. It just doesn't seem safe. Also, the loss of almost all of the handicapped parking for those that need it seems cruel and appalling. No winter quarter for me.
  12. Cheney119er
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    Cheney119er - September 20, 2012 11:45 am
    I rode Cycle Oregon last year, 490 miles in 7 days, and there was this amazing couple that were riding a tandem. A tandem with a bike trailer and two small children inside, probably 3 and 5 years old respectively. Day 6 was 87 miles and a 4800 ft climb. Everybody has an excuse and some made up reason to limit themselves or others. I call bologna. You go ahead and limit yourself if you wish I have no time for that type of thinking and neither should you.
  13. my3centsworth
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    my3centsworth - September 20, 2012 1:50 pm
    I believe in what you're saying Cheney119er. I don't happen to agree that riding a bicycle to school is feasible for many of the students for one reason or another, I do believe that creative solutions need to be addressed. If it reaches a point that I no longer feel safe parking a distance away from the college to walk to campus, the alternative for me would be to call a taxi to deliver me to LCC, drive me to work, and take me home. For the 8 or 10 bucks, it's worth my safety.
  14. Cheney119er
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    Cheney119er - September 20, 2012 2:37 pm
    I take it back about Romney; I guess some of us (but I seriously doubt 47%) do think they are entitled and consider themselves victims. It sounds darned unbecoming too.
  15. JustMe27
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    JustMe27 - September 21, 2012 11:36 am
    My husband is a non-traditional student at LCC. He hauls our two kids on his bicycle everywhere. Trailers, baby seats, tag-a-longs, cargo bicycles, there a myriad of solutions for transporting young children by bicycle, if you chose to look for them. What is impractical is to refuse to even look at alternatives, meanwhile complaining about a lack of parking, the price of gas, and how much of a money suck cars are.
  16. Davisdn2
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    Davisdn2 - September 21, 2012 12:50 pm
    Seems to me the only person acting dumb here is you. First of all there are many colleges that offer shuttle buses from park and rides to their campus. PCC, Clark, Etc. Second of all your comment about OBESE ppl is just ignorant. The college has done away with many handicapped parking spots as well. Seems to me instead of spending all this money on new buildings they would take the time to build an actual parking structure. While riding a bike works for some it doesn't work for others.
  17. Davisdn2
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    Davisdn2 - September 21, 2012 12:51 pm
    Also, people who ride bikes can be just as dumb and cause just as much traffic issues as those of us that drive cars. Maybe your 80 year old dad should have taught you some respect.
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