We need to make Parking Lot H safer

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It doesn’t matter what time I enter El Camino College’s Parking Lot H, whether my blue Scion rolls into the lot at 7:45 a.m. or 1:50 p.m., I still worry about whether or not reckless drivers are going to hit me and force me to be late to class.

There’s a whole variety of ways someone could hit me.

Is someone going to make a wide turn and swipe me?

Is someone not going to use their blinker and just gun into me as I pass by?

Is someone going to jet out of their parking spot and slam into me?

According to data compiled from the ECC Union’s police beat reports, in 2019 there have been six reported collisions between two or more cars across all ECC parking lots. There have been four additional collisions with a car involving a pedestrian.

Near collisions aren’t always being reported to campus police, with the exception of one that was reported because the two drivers got out of their cars and started arguing.

However, just because these “almost” moments aren’t being reported, it doesn’t mean they aren’t happening.

I drive in and out of Lot H at least 16 times a week. Approximately once every two days there’ll be an instance where something dangerous could have happened if it wasn’t for my or someone else’s due diligence.

There’s three things that would drastically improve the driving situation in Lot H.

Painting some sort of guiding lines along the turning section of the road could lower the amount of risk currently associated with turning in the lots.

Turning is the most dangerous part of Lot H because of how recklessly some people whip around corners.

A large portion of drivers I’ve encountered take up more than half of the entire lane while turning, to the point where I can’t finish my own turn and I have to come to a complete stop until they finish.

And some drivers may genuinely need a bit of help seeing where the center of the road is, and that’s OK.

Parked cars often jut out past their designated parking spots, making it harder for drivers to establish how much space they have between themselves and the cars parked on the passenger’s side. Guiding lines would help drivers establish how much space they have in their lane.

El Camino College Police Department officer Erick Mendoza told The Union that there have been talks of installing speed bumps in Lot H.

There was a desire to install speed bumps in Lot H at the Parking and Traffic Advisory Council meeting on Jul. 25, 2018. On Jan. 30 the topic was raised again.

Installing speed bumps in Lot H would mitigate a lot of the problems related to speeding. But El Camino should think about installing concrete bumps rather than rubber, because the recently installed rubber speed bumps in Parking Lot C are currently falling apart. There are plans to replace them in the future.

There’s not enough time for each driver to react comfortably when one makes a wide turn in Lot H because of how fast they’re driving. With speed bumps, drivers wouldn’t be going so fast and these situations wouldn’t happen.

Speed bumps would force everyone to slow down and give drivers more time to react.

One student from a previous article in The Union, dated Sep. 20, 2018, said that she would rather have speed humps, speed bumps that are shorter and broader, than speed bumps.

The current speed bumps, particularly the ones in Lot C, are too tall to comfortably drive over, even when driving slowly.

The point of a speed bump is to be the opposite of comfortable, but my entire car rocks back and forth when it goes over one of those bumps. I also would prefer speed humps being installed instead of speed bumps.

However, I would take either compared to the current situation.

The final suggestion is just to drive smart. Turning on your car’s headlights inside the structure, day or night, helps the other drivers discern your car from the parked cars.

Driving slowly minimizes the potential for an accident and gives you more leeway for making turns or backing out of a parking spot. Using your blinker, even when redundant, lets other drivers know exactly what you’re going to do and eliminates guessing games.

Any of these three solutions, even a combination of them, would make Parking Lot H much safer. Right now there’s an excessive amount of defensive driving that needs to be done in order to just park in there with peace of mind.

We have an opportunity to make Parking Lot H safer no matter what time of day, and people like myself won’t have to run a million different crash scenarios in their heads as mental preparation any longer.

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