ASMJC VP of Communications
What is the biggest problem at MJC? Parking. Besides getting in classes parking is the hardest thing to do at MJC West or East Campuses. At the start of any semester, there will be over 20,000 students enrolled in classes at MJC on both campuses. There are thousands of students entering and exiting MJC every day for classes throughout the day.
On West Campus, there are only two entrances that students can use to park. West Campus has five parking lots: Yosemite Hall, Sierra Hall, Ace Pavilion, Soccer field, and the Gravel lot by Mary Stuart Rodgers Building. The most used parking lot is located behind the Sierra Hall. For almost the entire day students cannot find parking in that crowded lot, so they park in the Gravel lot almost half a mile away.
MJC has also moved more classes to west campus with the addition of the new Science Building. This adds to the parking problems with more classes being offered on West Campus.
The other problem is the flow of traffic getting to those lots on West Campus. With only two entrances cars are piled up trying to enter and exit the lots. The entrance on Blue Gum does not have a stop light; so traffic exiting MJC trying to make a left turn on Blue Gum are always backed up making horrible flows of traffic.
On the other side of West Campus, near the Gravel lot, students are stuck at a stop sign exiting onto Brink. The area is very strange, there are two stop signs at a four way intersection; even weirder is that the two stop signs are for the most traveled roads.
As for the Blue Gum entrance, a Stop light would be the best option for all traffic and pedestrians crossing the street. As of now, pedestrians crossing Blue Gum are at risk of cars racing down Blue Gum as there is no stoplight or stop sign.
With West Campus being more populated it would only be a benefit to students and staff if MJC looked into improving the flow of traffic and optimizing all available space for parking.
There is currently a plan set forth by the Measure E Bond. The Measure E Bond has funded all of MJC’s newest improvements including the ACE Pavilion and Softball field. This plan adds significant parking and road space to West Campus, including a stop light for exiting onto Blue Gum avenue. The Measure E Bond also add two parking lots where the YCCD District offices are currently located. It also puts a road cutting from Blue Gum by Mary Stuart Rodgers Building to Student Drive. The plan adds a connecting the Sierra lot to Blue Gum going around the Softball Field.
There is no doubt that these improvements will help parking and the flow of traffic at West Campus, however, at what costs? The plan is estimated around $7 million broken down into six areas. This project is still in its design stage with an estimated construction start time of 2015 being completed in the course of a year into 2016. Another prospective problem for students is the closing and construction of the current roads and parking lots to build these new improvements.
This author is not one to complain without a solution or suggestion. It would make sense for MJC to erect a stoplight or roundabout on the Brink entrance (as exiting the Gravel lot). Having a roundabout would keep traffic always moving and not at a standstill. A Roundabout would also be more cost effective as it does not require any technology or power to work. A stoplight would be an improvement as well in this area.
With the increase in students a step must be taken to increase parking and improving the flow of traffic, whether that be the $7 million plan or a simple roundabout.
Think you have a solution; email it to ASMJCcommunications@student.yosemite.edu