Get new parking machines

The Contra Costa Community College District receives roughly $1.75 million from the purchase of parking permits, including daily permits, annually.

An additional $155,000 is a result of parking fines. At $40 each, that’s roughly 3,800 tickets written each year, many of which are administered for parking without a permit.

The need for new, improved and functional daily permit machines is reaching a precipice, as many students and members of the community who attend or visit Los Medanos College are finding the current machines to be operating at a diminished capacity, or simply not at all.

Using that aforementioned revenue, it is time for the district to allocate money and roll-out a better infrastructure for LMC and its community.

To look at the current system, with machines housed within the three parking lots and along the perimeter road, is not an inspiring sight. What we are sure was once state-of-the-art equipment has now turned into a collection of obsolete and unreliable machinery whose dysfunction has only added further worry to the already stressful life of the average student.

It’s easy enough to use the machine, despite the inordinate amount of useless buttons, but the interface is rarely the issue. Often times users are finding that the machine simply doesn’t work; that it either takes a bank card but not cash, or that no method of payment results in the procurement of a daily pass.

Police Services tries to help, we think, by posting hand-written signs on each distressed machine, directing the user to the closest “functioning” ticket printer, which can add nearly 10 minutes to the parking process. But should these problems be occurring in the first place?

We think not.

Not at a college that has recently seen such vast improvement in its buildings and grounds, not to mention the addition of new buildings in upcoming years.

The question is, though, what can future students expect to experience?

Will district decision-makers step up and yield to mounting stress and confusion?

Or will they be content with hobbling the community with an poor first impression caused by mediocre hardware?