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Under the Hood: My epic battle with parking Campus life, Under the Hood

I don’t like parking lots. I don’t like parking garages. Parallel parking terrifies me.

Parking at the Democrat and Chronicle was always a problem for me. I didn’t park on the street unless the space was big enough to just pull into and straighten myself out (this is why I drive a small car), plus I’d have to feed the meter every one to two hours. I think I parallel parked twice in the 3½ years I worked downtown. Terrifying. The Civic Center Parking Garage was OK—very straightforward, no twists or turns to worry about—but it’s expensive to park there and scary at night. The lots outside were cheaper but usually full by the time I got to work. And snow just complicated everything.

Then I started working here and was assigned to S Lot. It was liberating. No creepy, expensive garages, no parallel parking, no looking for loose change under my seat. If I get here early enough, I can usually pull through a spot and still be relatively close to my building. I can even back into spaces, but only if I think no one’s watching. Snow still complicates things, especially for those who have the inexcusable inability to park straight and at a reasonable distance from neighboring vehicles when the yellow lines aren’t visible, but I (generally) don’t have to worry about getting plowed in or losing a side mirror.

I’m sure my enthusiasm for S Lot will fade with time (I’m already maybe considering looking into getting a permit for reserved parking in R Lot, maybe.) Anybody out there have any good parking tips or stories to share?

  1. Ellen Shady
    Mar 29

    You can find a spot in the morning...just don't leave for lunch. And watch out for any leftover construction stones from Global Village. They're killers!

  2. Pete Bella
    Apr 01

    Yeah, after 9 a.m. you may as well park at Marketplace mall and ride the RTS shuttle to campus. If you plan it right you could even get in a short speed walk through the mall. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating, more like 9:15 a.m. ...but I've never experienced arriving that late to work [qiuck recovery].

  3. Erin
    Apr 04

    There's nearly always parking available on campus, though soon you may have to battle your way through the flocks of geese at the end of J Lot. Now that winter is over, the walk is often pleasant. Just put on some comfortable shoes and enjoy the stroll.

  4. Marie Lang
    Apr 04

    Oh yeah, I've run into the post-lunch parking dilemma before. And I do recall a flock of sea gulls just hanging out in the parking lot when I came for my interview... I had to stop once for a pair of geese crossing the road, too. :) Nice to see the wildlife, but not so nice when they start leaving little presents all over my car!

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