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Parking lots of trouble

Diane Gallagher
Features Writer 

The only thing worse than circling campus parking lots for what feels like an eternity in order to find a parking spot, is catching a glimpse of a bright yellow parking ticket envelop stuffed under your windshield wiper.  Due to the recent price hikes on parking violations, spotting one of those yellow envelopes on your vehicle can lead to fines that range from $10 to $100.
For $95, a commuter can purchase a student parking permit for the full year.  A resident permit is $105 for the year. Students also have the option of paying $63 for a single semester permit. The price of student parking permits did not go up in price this year; however, parking fines have increased for the Fall 2012 semester, causing many people to think twice about where they are leaving their vehicle.
    “I did not know they increased parking tickets,” said Katie-Marie Mclean. “The fact that we have to pay for a parking pass I think is ridiculous; we pay thousands of dollars to go to class but yet they tack on more money for us.”
The breakdown of the new fines students, faculty/staff, and visitors are facing if the Millersville University parking regulations are violated are:
•   Parking without a valid permit went from $25 to $50
•   Parking in a faculty/staff yellow lined space increased from $10 to $25
•   Parking in a handicap parking only spaces jumped from $50 to $100
•   Parking in other restricted spaces increased from $10 to $25
•   Parking in the grass or on the sidewalks/walkways use to be a $10 fine and is now $25
•   Other parking violations have increased from $10 to $25
With the ticket prices rising anywhere from 50 to 150 percent, seemingly overnight, parking in an unauthorized spot is an expensive risk to take.  Rose Chiango said, “I think that should the price be $10 or $100 for a parking violation, the police have the right to ticket for illegal behaviors. It’s the students’ responsibility to know how to park correctly, and to leave enough time when getting to class and get a space in a lot that is perhaps more distant and walk.”
The summary of Millersville University parking regulations, available at Lebanon House which is open from 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday, agrees with Roses’ point of view as it clearly states, “The fact that an individual has been issued a parking permit DOES NOT GUARANTEE a convenient parking space; the responsibility to find authorized parking space rests with the operator of the vehicle.  It is not acceptable to cite the inability to locate an authorized parking space as a reason for violating University parking regulations.”

Students and faculty alike are having trouble finding spaces to park on campus. It has now become a gamble between being late for class or paying a hefty fine to be on time.

“Until they create more parking, aside from the little bit more behind Stayer, I can’t see how they should be raising the price of tickets,” Kara Williams said, in reference to the more noteworthy changes that have been made to the lots on the north side of campus; such as Dilworth, Wickersham, Stayer, Lyle, Gilbert, and the Winter VPAC.  There were over 60 commuter spaces changed in these lots to faculty/staff parking only, and the lot behind Stayer was changed to all commuter parking only. In addition to those changes, 39 spaces were changed in the Winter VPAC lot from resident parking to faculty/staff parking only.
It is not only students feeling the burden of locating an approved parking spot, professors are faced with the same challenge.
“Parking continues to be a problem.  If I can get here early enough I can usually find a space. Some days are trickier than others,” said Dr. Steven Miller.
A complete copy of all the parking rules and regulations can be found at http://www.millersv.edu/~police.  If you have any parking questions between the hours of 8 am and 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday, you are able to contact the parking division at (717) 872-3432.

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