OPINION: Student drivers lack parking etiquette

By Melody Ortiz

Parking lots are chaotic as it is, but East Los Angeles College students can make parking less of a stress by practicing common courtesy and common sense.

It seems people still understand the unwritten “first-come” rule: whoever gets to a parking spot first has dibs. Everything else, however, seems to be hard to grasp.

Unfortunately, the parking structures on campus do not have stop signs within them. This means it is up to drivers to be extra cautious. Cars come around corners at 20-25 mph in an eight mph zone.

This can be especially dangerous during peak hours when students are rushing to go home or racing to grab a spot.

Speeding isn’t the only problem drivers are causing. Many are not making wide left turns or tight rights, leaving little room for cars going the opposite way.

Let’s move on to the actual parking. Something we learned in elementary school is to stay inside the lines. Whether a car is over the separation line or even on top of it, it can still cause an inconvenience for others looking to park.

As ELAC student Tiffany De Jesus said, “There are lines on the floor for a reason.”

Leaving less room for the car to the left can cause that car to leave less room for the next, and so on. That goes double for those bulky trucks that some drivers think are a great idea to squeeze into a tightly-packed structure.

After parking, students usually do one of two things: head to class or wait in their cars. Although there is nothing wrong with passing the time in the comfort of one’s own vehicle, it’s irritating when occupants keep their lights on.

Some drivers who are in search of a spot will block an aisle because they assume someone with their lights on is about to leave a spot. The drivers will wait there for a while and when they realize the other car isn’t leaving, they will move on and possibly miss out on other spots they could’ve had. This happens with multiple cars because one person decided to leave their lights of false hope on.

Another inconsiderate issue is when those who wait in their cars blast music with the windows down. Some students who work or go to school full-time only have a couple minutes to rest up in their cars before or between classes. This can be interrupted by those who opt for the loud speaker rather than earphones.

Students who are waiting to get picked up or dropped off should look to the designated drop-off area in front of the college. The parking structures are one of the worst places to play taxi. Drivers will turn their hazards on as they wait for their passengers, causing others to go around them and risk oncoming traffic, especially in the blind-spot areas like sharp corners going up the ramps.

Those who leave or walk to their cars need to be sensible about their safety and considerate of drivers. This means pedestrians shouldn’t be walking in the middle of the lanes. They should hug the sides and especially not stop to have a conversation.

Lastly, students need to remind themselves that they are in college and are considered grown adults. Yet, here at ELAC, we have a few “mature” adults filling fast food paper bags to the brim with all the trash they can, setting it outside their car and driving away.

College is stressful enough. When students start their day off in the parking chaos, the stress can start before class does.

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