campus car congestion continues

The Associated Students of Orange Coast College voted Friday on a resolution to resurface and restripe all of the parking spots in the Merrimac Way Parking Lot during spring break.

The proposal is to widen marked spots in the Merrimac lot from the current size of 8-feet to larger 8.6-foot-wide spots. The project still needs approval by OCC Interim President Kevin Ballinger.

The restriping will reduce available parking in the Merrimac lot by 98 spots amid on-campus construction which has reduced student and faculty parking in Adams, Staff, Theatre and Gym parking lots by 897 spots already.

According to Chief of Campus Safety Jim Rudy, as of Jan. 29, OCC has 4,977 total parking spots on campus for an estimated 22,000 students and 700 faculty members. Of the total spots, excluding meters, 3,691 are student parking stalls.

Mike Morvice, manager of student life and leadership development, presented the plan to resurface and restripe the Merrimac lot on behalf of Rudy.

According to Alexandria Olvera, a 19-year-old political science major and member of ASOCC, those in favor of the proposal argued that restriping the lot would prevent dings and scratches from occurring. Those opposed argued that the plan would further reduce accessible spots for students and faculty.

“I know some friends who decided not to go to class because they have not found parking, even in the (Orange County) Fairgrounds,” Olvera says.

Concerned with the impact it could cause for OCC drivers, students and clubs on campus, including the OCC Young Democrats, OCC Young Republicans and Omega Psi Sigma political honors society, were planning action as they write a joint statement with several other clubs voicing their intent to counter the effort.

Students and campus clubs were encouraged to appear for a College Council meeting earlier this week when a decision from the president would finalize the proposal to resurface and restripe the parking lot.

With parking on campus already impacted by closures in multiple lots, additional spots being taken away is certain to impact unaware students and staff as they return from spring break, sources said.

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