With all the difficulties students and faculty face during the first few weeks of a new semester, the Los Medanos College Brentwood Center is looking to make it a little bit easier by improving its parking situation..
“It’s a real issue and it’s one that we’re trying to give some real attention to,” said LMC President Bob Kratochvil at a recent College Assembly meeting.
The demand for more parking has been linked to the growing enrollment and occupancy rate of nearby business parks.
“The highest demand occurs during the first 3 weeks of the semester,” said LMC Vice President Kevin Horan. “Students tend to be at the center more frequently during this peak period.”
Although some problems regarding parking availability have decreased, LMC is encouraging students, staff and faculty to use the public parking on the nearby streets of Business Center Drive and Technology Way to combat the issue.
“Another effort has been to tell them about public transit — the buses and how frequently they are coming,” added Kratochvil.
In a recent email sent out by Director of Marketing Barbara Cella, students were encouraged to take public transportation or participate in carpools to get to classes at the Brentwood Center in order to deal with the limited parking spaces. In addition to public parking, Tri Delta Transit has a bus stop located on Brentwood Blvd. just a few steps away from the campus.
“The long-term plan is to move to our new campus location, which will have more than ample parking to meet our needs,” said Horan. “The short-term plan involves diminished growth at the current center and re-evaluating the times that courses are offered.”
As far as classes go, LMC is not planning to decrease the number of classes offered at both the Brentwood and Pittsburg campuses.
“We do need to evaluate the option of spreading them out in an effort to decrease demand during peak periods,” said Horan. “For example, we have increased the number of courses offered only on Fridays at the Center, as this is the period of time with the lowest demand on parking.”
At the Pittsburg campus, students have recently experienced difficulty regarding the parking machines for daily parking passes that has now been resolved.
“We had a situation where a couple of our machines malfunctioned and we had to get some parts for them,” said Senior Traffic Officer Michael Hotton. “They came in [Wednesday] and the boxes have now all been fixed and updated and ready to work.”
Parking is evaluated every year or every other year as part of a program review. Suggested changes to parking could include roadway improvements, parking lot painting and updating parking machines.
“We are discussing the possibility of replacing our permit machines,” said Hotton “It’s very expensive equipment and it doesn’t happen over night but we are continuing to see the need for that and we’re opening that conversation now.”