Parking is the biggest complaint of nearly every commuter student. It is entirely possible to get to campus by 7:40 a.m. and not find a parking spot until nearly a half hour later. Getting to campus at noon means that the parking structure and nearly all of the spaces in Via Carta will be full. This can provide for an extremely frustrating start to the day and a sweaty sprint across campus to get to class. There are students who are hired to help traffic flow, and they do a great job, but they are still no match for the sheer number of cars coming onto campus. Leaving campus in the afternoon can take an equal amount of time; it's not unheard of to sit for 25 minutes before getting out of a parking lot or structure.
Permits are pricey, but not nearly as expensive as at other schools. Many students will say that the convenience of driving to campus outweighs the costs. Overall, parking is a problem at Cal Poly. While it is a relatively minor problem when compared to things like rampant discrimination or a forceful drug culture, which may be found at other schools, it is still like the proverbial thorn in the lion's paw: small but unbelievably annoying.