The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Surviving without a CSUN parking pass

A $144 parking permit with no guarantee for a spot is anything but practical. I’ve walked through many a puddle and endured piercing winds this past week to dodge the parking bureaucracy and it was worth it.

If you have the time and don’t mind a 15 minute walk at the most, there are alternatives for those who refuse to pay.

My battle began at 8:30 a.m. on the first day of school. It was ruthless and everyone was fending for themselves.

There were no rules. It didn’t matter who got there first. If you knew how to wedge your car in an obscure angle quick, you could have any spot you laid your eyes on.

On the first day of spring semester I parked on Reseda Boulevard and Dearborn Street, right across from Chipotle. I drove by an array of vehicles parked in the red zone, it was clear I was driving on to parking permit dodging veteran territory. Pondering if I should do the same, I decided I was a mere amateur and did not want to risk getting a citation.

Like vultures, cars were lurking up and down the street waiting to snag a spot. It’s a science really. The stars have to be aligned the day you pick your class schedule to keep up with the various time restrictions street parking presents.

For anyone who has done it before you know you can’t just park anywhere, that would be too easy. There are one or two hour only parking zones. Or no parking on Wednesdays for street cleaning. Or no parking after 4 p.m. or no parking until 4 p.m.

Dealing with off campus parking signs is a whole other pickle but getting it down is contemplativeness at its best.

After scouting out coveted parking areas this past week, I found three streets to be forgiving. Reseda Boulevard and Dearborn Street, Reseda Boulevard and Prairie Street, and Reseda Boulevard and Vincennes Street.

Definitely read carefully and park at your own discretion, if you can follow the signs and keep within the restricted times, you are on your way to off campus parking success.

At one point I was so confused with one of the signs and parked anyway. All I knew was a citation was a cheaper than that $144 sticker I refuse to ever buy again.

I had the heebie jeebies, the chills and the creeps all at the same time. Dreading the walk back to my car, I was the happiest person in the world when I didn’t have a ticket on my windshield.

Mother nature can be cruel at times and parking off campus is not for the faint of heart. I had two moments of weakness in my first week without a permit.

The winds were blowing with what seemed like all the force in the universe, and the rain was falling like it never had before. I walked into the public safety office twice and walked out empty handed each time. I had two close calls but deep down I knew I was better then that, my conscience would never let me live it down.

This past week has been therapeutic. I’ve saved money, gotten some exercise, and learned to appreciate the smaller things in life like the wind in my hair, and arriving at school early to beat the parking veterans.

There’s nothing compared to CSUN parking during the first week of class and even more so when not parking in CSUN structures or parking lots, but battling the surrounding urban streets.

For those of you that have wondered — it is possible.

To the others on the street parking battlefield, only 13 weeks to go.


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