Do you drive onto campus hoping with anticipation to find a convenient parking stall that is close to your class? Or do you circle around a number of times trying to find an open one?
You might experience difficulty finding parking depending on the time of day you arrive on campus.
“If you come in after 10 a.m. especially on Tuesdays or Thursdays, now we’re getting full,” said Rick Murray, WCC’s Safety and Security Manager. “We already know that the Pālanakila lot’s full. We already know that the lower parking lot’s full, and as we see the ‘Ākoakoa lot and those last stalls are full, we’re already going to open the overflow parking.”
The overflow parking on the “Great Lawn” is opened by security as the last resort; meaning, when the ‘Ākoakoa parking lot is full.
“We park people on that lawn when we have no other choice,” said Murray. “One day of 50 cars on that lawn when it is soaked and wet will completely ruin it.”
According to Murray, visitors often notice the beauty of the lawn. With big events such as the Ho’olaule’a, people come from all over the world to enjoy the festivities and comment on what a beautiful lawn WCC has. So it’s important to preserve the “Great Lawn.”
Murray said that immediate improvements to the parking situation or increased parking are not likely to occur in the next year or so; however, the administration is aware that there is an issue and is discussing future plans.
In the last five years, 28 new stalls were added across the Hale Kuhina building where the UH law library building is located; nine extra stalls were added along the fence in the Pālanakila lot; and a parking section was added across the Hale Mana’opono building where there are faculty and staff stalls, handicap stalls and energy efficient stalls.
“We’re always looking to make more parking,” said Murray. “We’re certainly looking at creating more parking in the future as the college grows.”
WCC’s website provides general information about parking and advice to ease frustration such as arriving early, carpooling and understanding that parking is available but not necessarily where a student may prefer to park.
Go to http://www.windward.hawaii.edu/parking for more information and for a campus map showing all the areas for student parking.
by Debbra Baetz, Ka ‘Ohana Editor in Chief