Why Is There No Parking!?


Image via Dylan Boxer

ACC’s Parking Lot A completely full at 10:00 am

Dylan Boxer, Editor

There you are, rolling up to the Arapahoe Community College campus in the morning like a boss, on time and ready to go. You’ve got your lunch packed up and your shoes tied tight. You’re back at school and excited for a new semester of higher learning. But then you pull into the parking lot, only to see every space filled and wayward cars circling the crowded lot like vultures, hoping to snag a spot.

After minutes of visiting every lot on campus you finally find a parking space, but now you’re late for class. You run from the spot you so cleverly swiped up, across the hectic blacktop, through the doors ridden with anxiety, and into class. Between gasps for air, you try to explain your situation to your professor. But they already know. They know because this happens to a lot of the students here at ACC.

ACC’s parking lot has the capacity to park just over 1400 cars; seems like a lot. But when you consider the number of passes handed out, one might reconsider. The ACC Police Department, who’s responsible for issuing the parking passes has supplied approximately 1500 semester passes and 2500 annual passes to the students. Far more than the parking lot’s maximum capacity.

Not to worry, this isn’t a mistake or an outrageous overestimate. In fact, it was done on purpose.

Sergeant Moreland of the Arapahoe Community College Police Department states,
“We hand out these many passes because no one is ever on campus at the same time. Some people have Monday/Wednesday classes; some folks have Tuesday/Thursday classes. Some people come in the mornings, some people attend at night. Very rarely do we get a perfect storm to where everyone comes at once. With the exception of the first few weeks of school.”

Sgt. Moreland went on to explain that during the first few weeks of the semester students are just getting settled. They aren’t so much attending class as they are picking up books, meeting with advisers, getting financial aid squared away, and even buying their parking passes. So the lots are going to be more crowded than they are during the year.

He went on to state that the campus police don’t even enforce parking policy during these weeks. “Why would we cite someone for not having a parking pass when they’re inside buying one?” explains Sgt. Moreland. “After this grace period of the first few weeks, we hand out warnings, and then we cite people after we believe that everyone has been settled in.”

As far as tips to avoid this traffic congestion, the ACC Police Department recommends an early arrival, possibly before rush hour. They also recommend that students be aware of any no/restricted parking signs. “It’s easy to be in a rush, park in the first spot you see, and then come back to your car with a citation, because you weren’t supposed to park there,” says Sgt. Moreland.

The ACC Police also assure that by the time the class drop date comes around that the parking lot should return to a more civil place. They also advise that one should be aware that the two- and four-hour parking is run by the city of Littleton, not the college. Any tickets issued by them are to be taken up with the city.

If the parking lot struggle becomes too much to bear, public transportation is always an option. Regional Transportation District (RTD) light rail, along with bus services, are available at the Littleton Downtown station, across from the Arts and Design building.