There are no plans to expand student parking. Infrastructure planning will instead focus on improving the gravel lots.
Campus Police said improvements would increase pedestrian safety and that parking is consistently available in the 3000 Lot.
The surge in new students this fall has congested parking lots closer to campus buildings.
“This is the worst parking has been in my four semesters here,” said senior Tien Duong, who sometimes spends as much as 30 minutes looking for parking after 9 a.m.
Deputy Chief of Police Carlos Llorens spoke about how GGC plans to expand its infrastructure.
According to Officer Llorens, infrastructure planning is based on percentages of campus usage. Reports show that peak usage occurs from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Friday, with around two-thirds of classrooms in use. However, parking is still available in the 3000 Lot during these same peak hours.
Since the busiest hours on campus still facilitate parking for students, there is no need for expansion.
For now, infrastructure planning is focused on improving the gravel lots. Students may notice generator lights in these lots being replaced with light poles and cameras. The goal is to pave gravel lots, which would create more space and make walking safer.
Llorens’ Main Concern
Of greater concern for Llorens is the sharp increase in available parking from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. following a rush of vehicle and pedestrian traffic. “It’s all about the safety of the students,” he said.
Campus infrastructure planning prioritizes safety over convenience. Closer parking is sparse by design.
Llorens emphasized that campus planning centralizes classroom spaces and pushes parking toward the edges of campus to lower risk for pedestrians. “Sometimes you’re going to have to walk more than you want,” he said.
As for getting a parking spot closer to class, Llorens said students should “plan appropriately.” An earlier arrival on campus means a better chance of finding closer parking, diminishes traffic rushes, and makes lots safer for pedestrians.
“I park closer to my last class of the day,” said student Ryan Vales. “I usually park over at the 3000 Lot.”
Infrastructure planning goes beyond classroom space and parking to include resources like water and even the internet. While the numbers the police department track are considered in planning, the USG Board of Regents uses statistics from all of GGC’s departments to determine budgeting.
Llorens said that ideal efficiency for his department would cause imbalance elsewhere on campus. Improvements must be made incrementally to avoid a rise in tuition.
GGC’s student body continues to grow. With roughly 13,000 parking stickers registered this year and just over 5,000 available spaces, expansion may be inevitable.