Campus to reduce carbon footprint

College designates 15 student carpool parking spaces in Lot 4

By Marlene Rivas, Staff Writer

The Operations Council has approved 15 carpool parking spots that will be designated in Lot 4 starting in the spring 2015 semester.
Buildings and Grounds Manager Bruce King and the Sustainability Committee introduced the idea to the College Council in September.
The Sustainability Committee, a sub-committee of the Operations Council, meets the first Thursday of the month at 7 a.m. to discuss ways to reduce energy costs and improve the college’s use of its resources.
Lot 4, adjacent to the Gym Annex Building, will provide 15 spaces for students who carpool to campus.
King said the new carpool parking lot will provide students, who are without reliable transportation to campus, a low cost solution and will also reduce carbon emissions.
CCC student Rico Salvador said, “I think (carpooling) is a good idea. Not only will carpooling be environmentally friendly, but it will also be cheaper for students who (would otherwise) travel separately.”
However, not all view the carpooling lot as beneficial.
“It limits parking spaces, especially for people who come (to campus) early looking for a parking spot,” Gabriel Goulart said.
The application for this service, however, has been finalized, and will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis at Police Services.
The carpooling permit will be free. Students who become part of the system will be given a distinctive permit sticker to park in the designated spots.
In order to be eligible for a carpool parking spot, there must be a minimum of three students in one car.
Carpool parking privileges, however, are not to be taken advantage of, King said.
Those who park in the carpool section of Lot 4 without the designated number of passengers to constitute a carpool permit will be given a warning. A second violation will lead to the permit being revoked.
King said the carpool lot will ease parking inconveniences that construction on campus has caused.
He said that once the Campus Center project is near completion in about two years, it will be necessary to bring in plumbers and electricians who will do finish work inside the two new buildings.
He said that an estimated 150 construction workers will be on campus at once in need of a place to park.
This carpool initiative was approved at the perfect time, King said. “Parking is at a premium and it’s only going to get worse.”
He said that the model for Lot 4 carpool parking is based on the systems that other California community colleges, such as Ohlone College, De Anza College and Solano Community College, are already implementing.
Student Isadora Bjelland said, “(Carpool parking) sounds great to me. Everyone is looking to save (money), right?”
Bjelland, however, said she is concerned if she will be able to find other students who are willing to ride with her.
“Maybe there could be like a sign-up sheet so people can carpool with those in their area that also have similar (class) schedules,” she said.
CCC was close to implementing an online “sign up sheet” a few semesters ago.
Geography professor Chris Johnson said he began working with the Sustainability Committee in the fall 2013 semester to create a system that would use an online database to connect potential student carpoolers.
“Carpooling is a great way to save money without having to take the bus or bike,” Johnson said.
The social media website would have been called Zimride, but was rejected by the Operations Council during the 2014 spring semester due to the high cost of implementation and insufficient funding.
“(Zimride) would cost the college about $12,000 a year,” he said.