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Students entering their spring semester at Palomar were welcomed with a slew of construction and rerouted driving lanes on the campus student parking lots.

The first few weeks of a new semester on campus brings with it an influx of students and the hunt for an available parking space in the congested student lots around the campus perimeter. Out of the five student lots available, none was hit more than Lot 12, losing nearly half of its available spaces to construction. Projects such as the campus’ new Learning Resource Center and the upcoming build of a new parking structure in the location of the former Child Development Center are the cause of loss spaces.

Palomar freshman Stefan Einodei, an 18-year-old Engineering student, and Jadyn Flores, an 18-year-old American Sign Language student, were hit with this dilemma as they entered Lot 12 through the Las Posas entrance on the first day of the semester.

“If you come early enough (parking) its fine,” Einodei said. “We live an hour away, so we’ve been leaving at 7 a.m. and it sucks. Finding parking is really hard if you get here a little later.”

Flores added that due to leaving later they were left searching for the last available spaces in Lot 9 at the Borden Road entrance at 8 a.m.

Many students are faced with the same outcome as Police Sergeant Chris Moore explained through email that all student lots, except for Lot 14, were at capacity from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Tuesday through Thursday the first week of school.

Moore and Campus Police have taken steps in best managing the influx of student drivers such as manual traffic control, adjusted traffic patterns, and courtesy shuttles for students.

Director of Facilities Chris Miller added that temporary lots were created for overflow parking at the site of the former baseball field off Comet Circle and a lot behind Chevron across from Lot 15. Miller said through email that these lots are to aid in the offset of the more than 3,400 student parking spaces currently available or impacted by construction.

The college is working with the city of San Marcos in investigating a nearby vacant lot to use as additional parking where a future shuttle service with Campus Police could be offered in the near future.

Moore emphasized that the first two weeks of the semester is focused on the educational component of the college, only citing six drivers and issuing 40 warnings the first week of school. However, this week moving forward students are encouraged to follow parking policies with the upcoming increase in enforcement.

Until traffic winds down and the new parking garage is completed years from now Flores would like to see closer parking spots and more of them.

“There’s a lot of good staff parking, maybe we can share a little bit of that?” Einodei said.

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