Heading west may be the best
By Brendan Myrick - Staff Reporter
Students frustrated with trying to exit the East Parking Lot would do well to heed the advice: Go West, young man.
Parking lot jams have been an ongoing issue for students during peak hours, but if students explored different routes, they could save a lot of time Public Safety officials say.
Almost all students who park in the East and South lots struggle to make a left turn toward Pacific Highway South when they leave campus.
The problem occurs at the stoplight at the intersection of South 240th Street and Pacific Highway South. The majority of students are trying to take a left at the light, which causes a backup in the turn lane. That means students exiting, especially the East Lot cannot leave, causing cars to back up past Building 6.
The key to exiting campus quicker is to explore different options, said Richard Noyer, head of Parking Enforcement. Like turning right when they reach South 240th Street.
"All of a sudden now I can do that [avoid parking jams] instead of sit and wait, sit and wait," Noyer said, "You can be out in five minutes instead of 15 minutes, or even longer."
If students exiting the East Lot took a right, then a right again at 20th Avenue South along the west boundary of campus, then another right at the Kent-Des Moines Road, they could end up at the Kent-Des Moines Road/Pacific Highway South intersection much quicker than trying to turn left onto South 240th Street.
Another option for folks in the East Lot is to drive to the far end and take the road to the North Lot and exit there. Students who are trying to head toward Federal Way should turn right on 240th and then left on to 16th Avenue South.
There are other ways students can spare themselves a headache involving parking on campus. One big no brainer is to not park without a quarterly pass or the $1 daily slip that can be purchased in any lot.
Students should avoid driving around with expired winter passes, which can be easily fixed by visiting Campus Safety in Building 6.
Also, watch how you park, taking up two spaces can earn you a ticket and maybe a dinged door.
There are only 2,200 parking spaces for an 8,000-10,000-student body, which means parking spots can run low during peak hours because more parking passes are sold than spaces.
Also, Lowe's parking lot across the street is not open to Highline students. If students park there, they are taking a huge risk and their car will most likely be towed. Those towing bills can total $400.
"I don't have all the time to police the parking lot," said a Lowe's manager. "Usually a couple days a week we go out and mark all the Highline student cars and have them all towed."