The Student News Site of Biola University

The Chimes

The Student News Site of Biola University

The Chimes

The Student News Site of Biola University

The Chimes

Biola, let us learn how to park this year

There’s nothing Biolans love more than Jesus and parking outside the lines.
Parking+attempts+around+Biola+seem+to+be+a+large+issue+for+the+community.+
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Parking attempts around Biola seem to be a large issue for the community.

Just because Biola students are encouraged to think outside the box does not mean they need to park outside too. For as long as there have been lines, Biola students do not know how to park within them. But for as widely discussed as the issue of bad parking has been, how did this predicament come to be and what can be done to solve it?

According to the Campus Safety crime log as of March 27, 2024, there have been four reported incidents involving vehicles in the past 60 days. Two involved hit-and-runs within campus parking lots and two involved break-ins within campus, as defined by the Clery Act’s definition of “campus property.” Biola students seem to agree that these statistics reflect the poor quality of on-campus parking. 

“Biola drivers [are] unaware and they all suck at parking,” sophomore accounting major Noah Gilliland said.

While there is a widely perceived issue with poor parking on campus, the bigger issue is how to effectively curb the tide of this crisis. Surprisingly, the answer is much simpler than one might initially think, it is to make the spaces slightly larger. Right now, the minimum size of a compact (smaller than standard) parking space is 8 feet wide. However, this simply isn’t a realistic size of space to park a car.

“I have a monster truck and back into every spot and these little sedans hanging over the line make it impossible to park,” said Caitlyn Hinson, a senior theater and music major.

The size of cars is on the rise in America, and even when looking at a standard, mid-size SUV (such as the Ford Explorer), its width is 6.57 feet. That gives under a foot and a half of surplus room to park, not even including the fact that it is nearly impossible to get in or out of your vehicle with less than nine inches of space on either side. If someone were to park even a few inches over the line, it would render the entire spot next to them unusable, considering that the minimum space size already leaves so little room as is. 

Regardless of where students were parking on campus, multiple students agreed that Biolans could not park. While a large majority of students noted that the lower campus dorms’ parking situation was especially frustrating, there were complaints about virtually every lot on campus.

“If I had a nickel for every time someone stopped in the middle of the road without their hazards on while tryna park and just waved me on, I could pay off my tuition,” Alec Clothier, a senior English major, said. 

Some students also noted that it might be the work of particular demographic groups on campus that were responsible for a majority of the poor parking.

“Not [all Biola students] are from California, so the midwest people tend to be awful at parking,” Xander Chan, a senior computer science major, said.  

For other students, bad drivers and poor parking were more the work of a particular location on campus, not even the people. The lower campus dorms and the straight strip of road by the on-campus apartments take up the majority of complaints. When reflecting on a friend’s terrifying experience while riding a scooter near said apartments, junior public health major Rebecca Arias commented, “They need a sign that says, ‘Warning Biola drivers may cause death.’” 

Despite the strong feelings of many on-campus students, some commuters who do not use a vehicle and students who do not drive feel less strongly about these issues. 

Junior engineering major James Hunter added some perspective to the large group of students who commute from the apartments without a car, stating, “I don’t really care about how bad Biola students are at parking because there are so many bike racks that are usually empty.”

On a typical weekday, several spots on the back wall of the lower campus dorms are rendered unusable because a single car is just a touch over the line. Instead of squeezing as many spots as possible into a smaller space, the correct solution is to eliminate a few spots and create usable parking spaces.

Sometimes, it is the easiest solution that is the best way to serve the students, repaint the lots to create larger spaces. Students truly want a great parking experience and are willing to try to accomplish that, however, the current system sets them up for failure. By redesigning our lots to accommodate larger vehicles, we’re allowing students the best chance possible to park, without going over the lines or hitting your neighbor. Understandably, many are frustrated with the constant congestion and stress of parking in impacted lots, especially in the lower campus dorms or by the Student Union Building. Biola should step up and lead the initiative to redesign and repaint their lots to serve students best, and together, we can kick bad parking to the curb.

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Kenny Cook
Kenny Cook, Staff Writer
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