City College Times

Parking pay meters need more support

Tyler Bar-Ness

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Finicky pass machines deserve our attention

You are running late. It is five minutes to your midterm and you have taken every shortcut you can to get to class. You pull into the parking lot, park and rush to get a parking pass to avoid a ticket.

But the machine refuses to work. It does not take the money offered; it is out of paper or some other malfunction has rendered the machine inert.

Students who have the misfortune of carrying only bills can run the risk of getting a ticket for not carrying quarters.

If the machine is out of paper, they have a few options: call the campus police department, hope the other machines are working or risk a black mark on their driving record.

With more than 10,000 students attending San Jose City College, parking is a common source of stress for many. All it takes is a brief glance at student reviews on sites such as Yelp to see that the parking situation is a cause for concern.

The meters only add to this problem. With reasonable parking at a premium, the risk of getting a ticket from finicky machines makes the process even more of a hassle.

While it should not be said that the machines would chase away prospective students, it can be said that they make life harder for students who commute by car.

Another aspect of the problem is that the machines are not all the same. Some of them are battery-powered, some are hard-wired to electrical sources and some are even host to solar-powered reserve power. Some of these machines even hibernate to save power and need to be woken up by users before they attempt to purchase a parking pass.

Each machine requires a different touch to repair, adding to the difficulty of maintaining them. The school could save time and effort with these machines if they were all the same make and operated the same way.

As a school with a responsibility to its students, SJCC should take steps to make the parking process less luck-based. They could do so by updating these machines, and possibly standardizing them so a problem with one machine could be solved the same way as any other machine.

Another possible solution, should the cost of rehauling and standardizing the machines prove to be too high, could lay in additional support. Despite already having a small team of Community Service Officers dedicated to taking care of the machines, the machines continue to be temperamental.

As it stands, the parking meters need more support. If the school is going to charge for parking and penalize people for not paying, it needs to have a reliable method for paying for daily parking.

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Parking pay meters need more support