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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Parking issues cost drivers, perplex campus community

Kevin+Brost+%2F+Arizona+Daily+Wildcat%0AStudent+and%2For+faculty+vehicles+parked+recklessly+around+The+University+of+Arizona+campus+on+October+3%2C+2011.
Kevin Brost
Kevin Brost / Arizona Daily Wildcat Student and/or faculty vehicles parked recklessly around The University of Arizona campus on October 3, 2011.

From its cost to its inconvenience, campus parking is a constant problem for many UA students.

Many students said drivers who occupy more than one space, park crookedly or park in the wrong zone only exacerbate the situation.

More than 50,000 people work, study and live on the UA campus. According to Joyce Childers, the enforcement supervisor at UA Parking and Transportation Services, there are 18,200 parking spaces campuswide, including service spaces and motorcycle parking. A permit to park in one of the UA’s seven garages costs $568 per year.

Parking violations on campus are referred to PTS. The agency cites drivers for “parking in such a manner as to obstruct areas necessary for vehicular movement,” “parking an oversized vehicle in a compact car space so as to extend beyond the stall lines” and “parking a vehicle in a manner that prevents another vehicle from using an adjacent legal space or occupying two spaces with one vehicle,” according to the UA’s motor vehicle parking and traffic regulations.

The consequence for committing one of these violations is a fine or vehicle impoundment.

According to Childers, PTS issued 1,261 citations and warnings for parking over the line, 1,339 for parking in prohibited areas, and 12,083 for driving with an improper parking permit from August 2010 to August 2011. Since the beginning of the fall semester, UA Parking and Transportation Services has given out 3,000 permit violations and warnings.

Childers said the violations can be attributed to the cost of parking permits, a shortage of spaces and the fact that the UA is an open campus, meaning some of the violations are committed by drivers outside the UA community. PTS also lost some of its officers due to budget cuts, she said. Now, only eight officers and up to four student officers patrol the parking areas.

Katherine Henderson, a creative writing sophomore, said she once noticed a “huge gash” on the side of her car when she was leaving the Tyndall Avenue Parking Garage. She said a large truck had collided with her car while trying to park next to her.

“Parking spaces need to be wider, apparently,” she said.

Parking on campus is scarce, and parking poorly so that others can’t park in an adjacent space is rude, said Jessica Alexander-Dixon, a communication junior.

Alexander said she typically parks her car at a friend’s house and walks to class and that the best way to avoid parking issues is to carpool and use public transportation.

“(Parking) is actually the reason I didn’t want to come to the U of A,” she said.

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