I hate green envelopes, specifically the ones that say “NO PARKING” on one side. No parking 7-9 a.m. on school days; no parking 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on Wednesdays; no parking 2-4p.m. on schools days-when the hell can I actually park on the damn street? Those of you who live or work downtown know exactly what I mean. On any given work day, I spend more gas money on moving my truck back and forth than simply driving to work. Who was it that decided 75 or 90 minutes was a good time limit? I have to move my truck four times a day so I don’t get a ticket during work. I think people who work downtown should have some kind of permit, because this is a pain in the ass. Sure, there are parking garages all over this city that have plenty of parking, but you have to pay for it. There are plenty of cities in this state that don’t charge or limit parking time, so why is parking here such a pain?

Living downtown can sometimes be worse than working downtown. My friend has a studio and no place to park; he can’t park nearby from 7 a.m.- 6 p.m., so he leaves his car at work and takes his little scooter home to avoid more tickets. My last apartment had one spot that my roommate and I switched off using each week, since, of course, the main street was a 7 a.m.-6 p.m. “no parking zone”-those aren’t even bankers’ hours. I got a ticket at 7:05 a.m., and it was then that I came to the conclusion that the “parking enforcers” are bitter and evil people. 7:05 a.m.-are you kidding? I seriously believe she was waiting behind the bushes for 7 a.m. I know-they are only doing their jobs…blah, blah, blah. I don’t care. If you park downtown or anywhere with a limit, check ALL four tires completely before deciding to stay, because they mark all four tires with chalk.

Isla Vista has parking problems as well. I lived in I.V. for two years and spent $800 to park, because I had no other choice. Many landlords or student housing here in I.V. charge for parking while, in other cities, parking comes with your place as well as some free spots for your guests. Maybe it is because there are just so many people in I.V., I can understand assigning a spot, but to actually require someone to pay or lose a car is what gets me. I guess it could be worse. I hear in New York you have pay a little more that $2,000 for a parking spot. Besides the very limited street parking, there are no actual parking lots that you can simply park in for a while.

With no parking spots or lots around, it makes parking here challenging, and it is not always convenient to walk. How am I supposed to carry that full keg six blocks back to my apartment? What happens if it is pouring? While riding a bike is good for your health and the environment, it is still hard to carry groceries while pedaling a two-wheeler. Public transportation is always a good idea, but those buses are huge and not really convenient on some of those tiny, dead-end streets. For now, ride-sharing, biking, walking, skateboarding, and roller-skating (I have actually seen this), will have to do for transportation. Unless the city decides to knock down a few apartment complexes to build free parking garages, appreciate it if you have a spot, and good luck to the rest trying to find one!