Local Neighbors Impacted by Parking Woes


Photo by: Ben Hensley

Drivers search for available parking at the FCC parking lot on Jan. 30, 2019

Story By: Derek Bullis, Reporter

The neighborhoods around Fresno City College are bearing the brunt of the college’s perennial parking problems.  

In a meeting on Monday, Jan. 28 with Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria, dozens of neighborhood residents expressed their frustration about the congestion of their streets, driveways and the not-so-pleasant attitudes of the drivers.

“Parking issues, unfortunately, are nothing new to the area,” neighborhood resident, Jeff Price said. Price has lived on the corner of College and Clinton Ave. since 1991, in the only section of the street that non residents can legally park without a permit.

The neighbors complained about the amount of traffic and illegal parking and the inconveniences of blocked driveways and streets covered with litter.

“Occasionally, I will run into louder and disruptive students and ask them to quietly leave,” Price said. “They also will leave behind trash that litters the street.”

The drivers are not always polite or willing to move even when confronted by the homeowner.

“I’ve had the finger given to me and some vulgar language, and just primarily, I don’t own the street, and they can park there,” neighborhood resident, Lori Loera, told ABC30 News in a Jan. 29 news report.

The parking problem on campus is as intense as it has ever been, and students are having a difficult time making it to class on time.

A parking story is a staple in the Rampage at the beginning of every semester.

With over 30,000 students and fewer that 3,000 parking spaces, faculty, staff and students jockey for a not-so-easy endeavor.  

“I’m still battling to find a parking space every morning,” said Tyler Winter, business and music production major. So drivers park their cars where they find space, sometimes incurring penalties.

A parking official with the State Center Community College District said that the most common parking violation on campus is students parking in stalls that are designated for staff or the handicapped or parking on campus without a permit.  

The lowest fine for a  parking infraction on campus is $40.  

The district and  college officials are taking several steps to alleviate the parking problems and in recent years have added additional stalls behind the Carl’s Jr. on McKinley and Blackstone avenues; successfully passed a bond measure for a parking structure on the FCC campus; negotiated an arrangement so FCC students could ride free on Fresno Area Express busses, and instituted shuttle services in the early weeks of each semester when the problem is most intense.

Until March 8, the shuttle service will pick up and drop off students at six shuttle stops around campus.  

Sara Lucas, economics major, and Adolfo Velazques, art major, said they prefer to take advantage of the free bus pass offered to FCC students instead of driving.

“If someone gave me a Mercedes,” Lucas said, “I would decline and ride the bus.”