Fresno, Calif. - Every year at the start of the school year students and residents struggle to find parking in the neighborhoods surrounding Fresno City College and parking illegally can be a costly mistake. There are reasons why this year there are even more challenges. The cost for a parking pass at Fresno City College is $30 a semester, but a parking ticket off campus can cost you twice as much, but students say parking on and off campus has been hard to come by and if you park in the red zone you can expect a ticket.
"This is only the second day of the week and this is my second ticket. You got to be kidding me," said Cynthia, a new student at Fresno City College.
She says her bumper hung over a red curb in a crowded neighborhood nearby Fresno City College, a $58 ticket.
"There's no way you are going to park in the main parking lot in under an hour. No way. Like for me I'm coming all the way from Easton and when I get here I don't have time to find parking," said Cynthia.
Year after year, cars line the streets in neighborhoods near Fresno City College. This year, parking is even harder to come by. Construction on campus has eliminated some of the parking and road construction is slowing down students giving them less time to find parking.
"It seems pretty hectic. I actually park at my friends house down the street but this neighborhood is always full and so is the parking lot whenever I get there," said Maddie, a Fresno City College student.
But residents here rely on the City of Fresno to crack down on illegal parking, so anyone parking here needs to understand the rules.
"I think they understand they are taking their chances and chances are because of the fact we are out there patrolling that the residents in the area depend on us to patrol those streets as do the folks at city college the chances they are going to get a ticket increase exponentially," said City of Fresno spokesperson Mark Standriff.
Until the strain on parking is eased, Cynthia says it's a risk she'll have to take.
"Keep parking here because there is no way I can get parking in the main parking lot, so I'm going to have to keep finding nooks and crannies to fit my car in," said Cynthia.
City of Fresno parking enforcement encourages people to appeal their parking tickets if they feel it was not warranted. The FAX bus is also an option because it is free this year to Fresno City College students with student ID, but the city will continue writing tickets in surrounding neighborhoods if they have to.