"Moving sidewalks should be installed as soon as possible to prevent a certain rise in exhaustion cases at UCI. Not only must convenience and health be considered, but also prestige. Think of the humiliation a student must suffer when his XKE or Corvette must be parked in one of these foreign lots, completely out of sight of the dormitory balconies. No longer will he be able to parade before the residence halls for approval of his method of transportation…Let's not slight the problem, but devote all our energies to the solution of this dilemma."
--Satirical editorial in the Anthill, October 20, 1965
Even in 1965, scarce parking was giving the campus a collective headache. Back then, the issue of parking was of particular importance because UCI was in a fairly remote location. Most of the students who didn't live on campus had to drive, and those who did live on campus often brought cars, since venues for shopping and entertainment within walking distance were almost nonexistent. Over the years, UCI has added more and more parking spaces, but the student population has grown even faster, consistently outdistancing the construction of new parking structures.
Alternatives to driving to campus have always been encouraged. Shuttles traveled to and from parts of Irvine and Newport Beach. Vanpool, carpool, and bicycle incentives were offered. In the early years, free dirt lots were available to those students willing to walk a little further. But given that only a small percentage of students actually lived on campus and many could not afford the high rents in the surrounding neighborhoods, commuting via auto was and remains the most popular way to get to campus.
The issue of parking fees has always been a reliable source for debate as well. With more permits available than spaces, students and staff often find themselves circling parking lots endlessly in search of an empty spot.