Driveway increases delays, helps pedestrians

No projected fix to widen bottleneck on Mills Avenue


Denis Perez / The Advocate

A car turns into Lot 10 behind Buildings and Grounds on October 3, 2016. On December 6, two unknown male assailants robbed a Contra Costa College student at gunpoint in the same lot.

By Efrain Valdez, Advocate Staff

Driving into parking Lot 10 behind Buildings and Grounds  is a very tight fit during school hours, especially when navigating the morning rush before classes.

“The entrance is really narrow and is hard to get through when people are driving in and out in between classes,” graphic design major Edgar Gonzalez said.

“It’s more narrow than it needs to be,”  Buildings and Grounds Manager Bruce King said.

“I don’t know if it was meant to be designed that way, even though cars were bigger 15-20 years ago when that parking lot was built.”

“You can barely get two cars to fit through at the same time. I have seen a lot of folks just wait there until the other car pulls out of the parking lot to come in,” King said.

The tight fit at the driveway raises the chances for accidents, slow traffic and lengthens emergency vehicle response time.

“I found three, slow speed, non-injury accidents in our reports since 2010 at that intersection,” Police Services Lt. Tom Holt said. “I have no documented complaints about that intersection, but we wouldn’t maintain those types of records. The negative would be that for general vehicle traffic, entering and exiting is not quick enough.”

Many students do walk across that driveway, but its narrowness definitely prevents vehicles from going fast, making it safer for students to stroll past entering or exiting cars.

“The positive to the current setup is that it helps keep traffic moving slower on a road frequented by large numbers of pedestrians,” Lt. Holt said.

This parking lot driveway could be much more efficient when it comes to getting cars in and out.

“I spoke with Bruce King, and the general holdup is money. I’m sure with enough money we could design a more efficient and safe entrance and exit. Right now I believe it is safe, just not that quick,” Holt said.

During peak commute hours in the parking lot, it takes anywhere from three to six minutes to get out.

What also makes the congestion worse is that the driveway is the only entrance and exit for the parking lot.

“You could build another driveway at the far end of the parking lot, but it ultimately comes down to money,”  King said.

“They have talked about tearing down these modular buildings and improving this whole entranceway to make this side of the campus more appealing to the eye.”

On the west side of campus new buildings brought a better image of the college to the eye. The same image revitalization would happen on the east side of campus where Lot 10 and Shane Drive are, if those plans were to go through.

For now, there are no plans for parking Lot 10 to be modified to ease the congestion there.

But later that whole side of campus might be revitalized and then maybe that driveway will be improved, King said.