Pierce College Parking – Tips, Guidelines, and Warnings

With the school year in full swing, students are finally back on their daily grind. Which means that student parking has become a jungle of cars and impatient drivers. And if you’re anything like me, nothing turns a student off more than circling the parking lot for half an hour just to find a spot near the back of the campus. So here’s a few things to keep in mind if you’d like to avoid this in the future.

Lot A is the best lot

The advantages of parking in Lot A go without saying. Located west of the North Entrance - the first entrance way to the campus via Steilacoom Blvd. heading towards the park and Western State - Lot A gives you immediate access to both the Rainier, Olympic, and Sunrise buildings on campus, no matter how far you end up parking. Lot A has more available parking spaces than Lot B, which is typically where visitors and employees. Meanwhile Lot C is typically for Health Education HEF and the Dental Clinic, meaning that if you’re not a part of that, you’re going to spend a good 5-7 minutes just walking to where you need to be.

8 a.m. is the best time to park

This mainly applies to early birds or morning class students. The parking lot is typically barren between 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m., before students start pulling in around 8:30 a.m. So if you’re not a fan of having to park far from your class, 8 a.m. is the golden time to show up to park on campus.

Park during passing periods

If 8 a.m. seems a bit early, no need to stress about setting your alarms clocks just yet. Passing periods are typically the best times to park on campus if you’re a morning or afternoon student. This means showing up at the parking lot between, for example, 9:50 a.m. and 10:10 a.m. Students finishing up morning classes normally leave around this time, meaning that their spots will soon be open. This trend of showing up during the passing periods of average class times typically continues until around noon, where the spots become more sporadically available.

Non exit lanes have hidden gems

To continue with parking during passing periods, don’t forget to drive through lanes that don’t immediately take you to an exit. This would include lanes 1, 3, and 5. Lanes pop up and remain vacant in these parts during passing periods.This is most likely due to people wanting to find parking in lanes 2 and 4, as they’re easier to get into and don’t require you to turn your car around. However, if you don’t mind the extra minute it takes to do so, you’ll often find more available spots here in the morning than in the other lanes.

Drive extra slow through the parking lot

It’s not only safe to drive slowly through the parking lot due to unsuspecting students backing out before looking; but driving slow will also allow these students to come out and provide you with a new available spot to park in.

Evening class students start showing up around 5 p.m.

Lanes 3 and 4 of Lot A tend to begin filling up with evening students by around 5 p.m. These lanes give students direct access to a path leading straight down to Cascade, Olympic, and Sunrise.So if you’re an evening student who wants to park under a street light, or somewhere that won’t require you to walk to far at night to get to your car, then you’ll want to show up for parking between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Otherwise, you can always ask Campus Safety to escort you to your car.

Parking lots grow empty after 1 p.m.

If you’re not too picky about where you’re parking, and don’t have morning classes to attend, then the lots tend to get empty after 1 p.m. This applies especially to lots A and B, as by 1 p.m., most students have left for home.

Never park in an exit lane between 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Exit lanes, for Lot A, include lanes 1, 2, and 4. But especially 1 and 2. If you plan on leaving the campus between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., then you better be prepared to sit in your parking spot for awhile. Most students leave during this time, meaning that the line to leave often stretches across the entire parking lot. This will leave you at the courtesy of your fellow students either giving you space to get out of your parking spot, or enter the long line of cars exiting. Accidents in the parking lot also tend to be high during this time, so if you do plan on leaving between this time, it’s better to park in lanes 3 or 5, as there’s less traffic coming your way and it provides you with easier access to exit the campus.

Never park in between class periods

For morning class students especially, never show up to park in between class periods. This means showing up to parking around 9:30 a.m. or 10:30 a.m., for example. Class is normally in session around these times, meaning that parking spaces will not be available anytime soon. Showing up around this time will just have you circling the parking lot until the next passing period.

Lane 5 is meant for tiny cars

In lane 5 of Lot A, the parking lanes are slim and often crooked. Meaning, if you’ve got a truck or a van, you’re going to want to avoid parking in this lane, or risk finding some scratches on your car after class. For wider set cars, lanes 2 and 3 have really good spacious spots, including a few lanes towards the back of lane 3 and 4.The most important part about parking on campus is finding the trends and doing what works for you. Some people don’t mind waiting for an available spot if it means it burns time, others would rather save the gas and park as soon as they arrive. Whatever your preference may be, hopefully a few of these tips and guidelines can help make parking a little less annoying.