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Parking Study to Be Joint Effort : * Glendale College: City will split the $40,000 cost with the campus to find financing and a site for thousands of students' cars.

July 11, 1991|MARTHA L. WILLMAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

After decades of bickering, the city of Glendale and Glendale Community College have agreed to jointly fund a study to resolve the lack of student parking at the campus, which has resulted in an inundation of cars parked in nearby city lots and on residential streets.

The city and the college will split the $40,000 cost of the study, being conducted by International Parking Design of Sherman Oaks. A recommendation on the best ways to handle the parking crisis will be brought back to college trustees and the City Council possibly by December, officials said.

Among alternatives that were proposed by consultants at a community forum Tuesday is construction of a multilevel parking garage that could cost $4 million to $6 million, said Gary Gower of Ampco Parking, a member of the consulting team.

A site for the garage--whether on city or college property--has not been determined, Gower said. Forms of financing will also be studied, including the possibility that the city could issue bonds that would be repaid with student fees, he said.

Each day during the school year, thousands of students are forced to park in city lots and on residential streets because the college, which has 22,000 students and 1,500 faculty members, provides only 525 parking stalls on campus, officials said.

More than 4,000 students at a time battle daily for parking spaces in nearby city lots--which provide only 1,100 spaces--and on narrow, winding streets within a mile of the campus, often blocking driveways and other access, officials said.

Students' cars take up space in city lots adjoining the Glendale Civic Auditorium at 1401 N. Verdugo Road, across the street from the campus, conflicting with events at the auditorium, said Nello Iacono, director of parks, recreation and community services.

Parking for the college also jams lots that were designed for visitors to Verdugo Park and city playing fields south of the college, Iacono said.

For the first time, the forum brought together city and college officials, residents and students to study the problem. Previously, city officials charged that the college was doing nothing to resolve its parking problems. College officials countered that they lack the funds to take action.

"We've been the bad guy in this whole thing," college President John Davitt told an audience of more than 75 people at the forum, held at the Civic Auditorium. "Without the cooperation of you and the city, there is no way we are going to solve the parking problems at the college."

Iacono said the city has decided to help resolve the issue at the urging of residents. "As a city government, we need to be concerned about the impact on the residents of our area, on users of the Civic and Verdugo Park as well."

Residents at the forum Tuesday also complained that students regularly throw cans and other trash into the street and on lawns in front of their homes.

"We're mad as hell," said Dr. James Krueger, a physician and neighboring resident who attended the forum to complain about the issue. "We're sick of it. We're tired of it."

But Associated Students President Rita Zobayan asked that neighbors put aside their criticisms. "Everyone knows there is a problem," she said. "We look forward to some kind of solution instead of exchanging barbs."

Thomas M. Fallo, college vice president of administrative services, said, "The whole issue of parking has been around for a long time." But he said the problem has become worse in recent years because of "tremendous growth" in student enrollment, particularly as students have been turned away from Los Angeles City College and Valley College in Van Nuys.

Fallo said Glendale College "is sort of caught in a pickle. Our only solution is to cooperate with the city, to get the community together to see what ideas they have."

City Manager David Ramsay said consultants have been asked to use "creative thinking" to resolve the issue. "We need to do away with preconceived notions and start with a blank slate."

Preliminary results of the study are expected to be released in October, when another public forum will be held. Final recommendations are expected to be brought to the city and the college by December, officials said.

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