Students remain unhappy with parking at Bakersfield College

Students line up for parking spots at a large lot in the southwest part of the Bakersfield College campus. (KBAK)

Students returning to class at Bakersfield College Monday were again frustrated with what they describe as a lack of available parking. It's not a new problem.

And historically, the students aren't the only ones who have been upset by the parking woes. Neighbors to the west of campus grew weary of dozens of vehicles filling their curbs, boxing them out of street parking to which they were accustomed when the college was smaller.

So city and college leaders offered students a carrot and a stick. Last year, the city moved to a permit system for street parking in the residential areas and followed through with regular ticketing. They also offered one of the large campus lots to students for free, dropping the need for a permit many students struggled to afford.

On the first day of school results were mixed.

Some students did continue to park in "no parking" areas west of campus. Many were ticketed. But several homeowners polled said they thought the problem was basically fixed.

The free lot on campus was still packed through the lunch hour, much to the dismay of students who feared being dropped from class rosters if they failed to make it on time.

Introducing a free option for campus parking (everything required a permit last year) has discouraged carpooling, dramatically increasing demand, one student said.

But students polled by Eyewitness News also indicated they had difficulty parking in permitted lots in the morning hours.

The campus has undergone several parking lot rehab projects lately and college officials said Monday they anticipate the dust will all be cleaned up by the end of October, freeing more spaces.

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