The first week of school always puts students on edge. Whether it’s the 45 minutes of a fruitless search for parking, still not knowing exactly where certain classrooms are, or just readjusting to the school load, this first week is frustrating. One of the most frustrating things, not to mention seemingly unnecessary, is the parking enforcement officers that direct traffic in the structures.
During the first two weeks or so, traffic enforcement officers are sometimes situated in and around the new B3 parking structure. Instead of students taking turns at the stop signs, a stream of cars are allowed through in one direction and then stopped while another lane is allowed to go.
That may sound strange since the officers are there to make our lives easier, but are the traffic cops particularly necessary? They are undoubtedly there to ease the traffic, and maybe they do. Most major events I’ve been to, like concerts, have parking enforcement directing traffic. But every student I’ve ever talked to has found them to be a hindrance rather than help.
Why would students dislike the positioning of traffic enforcement officers who must be there for our benefit? It certainly seems that we go faster when we’re left to our own devices as we drive into the structure, always making some sort of progress when taking turns at stop signs instead of waiting for the officer to allow us to go. Doesn’t it seem that we’re perfectly capable of doing so on our own anyway? We’re all fine every other week out of the year. If they really are there to ease congestion and help us students, why not have them there every day during the school year?
It could be that the enforcement is there in particular to ease the confusion of new students who don’t quite know where to go.
Ironically, the one day this week when I actually wanted to see a traffic officer around so I could ask if any lots still had any spaces left (there weren’t), there’s wasn’t a single officer in sight.
The officers are there for the first weeks of the semester because of the great overflow of students who are trying to add all their classes, or the ones who think “yeah, this is the semester!” and then stop coming after three weeks. They probably wouldn’t be there if more students remembered that parking this first week is horrendous, and is just bad for the rest of the semester, and got to campus early. The lots are pretty empty at 8 a.m. You’d be surprised at how easy it is to sleep in your car while waiting for your class to start.
The fact that the traffic and parking situation around CSUN is never going to change makes me think that the traffic enforcement is a necessary evil. But the seeming randomness of when they appear makes me question how necessary.