By Lisa Donchak
So, you’ve decided to bring your car to school. Next step, get one of the eight different parking permits available.
If that seems complicated, it’s nothing compared to navigating the shifting terrain of campus-wide parking policies. The latest worry is that Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) may increase its enforcement on campus.
Before last year, TAPS required parking permits to be displayed in campus parking lots until 5 p.m. during the week.
Last year, TAPS extended enforcement until 8:30 p.m., frustrating students who have nighttime classes. According to TAPS, the motivation for the change was primarily monetary.
While students worry that TAPS will continue to make parking at school more difficult, it seems that last year’s change should be the last for at least a few years.
According to Larry Pageler, co-director of Planning & Analysis for TAPS, Parking Services has considered 24-hour and weekend enforcement for the distant future, but for now students are safe from any changes.
"We don’t see a reason for extending [enforcement] just yet," Pageler said.
Susanne Altermann, a graduate student and student representative of the Transportation Advisory Committee, said that students would fight against any possible changes.
"There are always ideas about changing things around," Altermann said. "The big one most recently [was] the change to nighttime parking enforcement, and that was fought pretty strongly by the grad students."
Many students, including second-year Molly Lautamo, dread the possibility of increased enforcement.
"There’s too much enforcement already. It’s ridiculous trying to park on campus," said Lautamo, who parks at the East Remote lot, the largest parking lot on campus.
Students aren’t the only ones wary about TAPS’ regulations. Soonho Song, a campus Tae Kwon Do instructor who parks his car by College Eight, has found it difficult to comply with TAPS regulations.
"Generally speaking, parking has really been a headache," Song said. "It’s really inconvenient, the whole setup. I’m not happy about it."
Students have long grumbled about receiving larger and larger tickets from University Police, and often wonder where exactly all the money is going.
But according to Altermann, the large fees are necessary to fund university services, and that only about $3 out of every $25 ticket actually goes to TAPS.
"A lot of the income that comes from parking tickets is not going to line the pockets of the administrators," Altermann said. "The major educational thing for people to know on campus is that parking cannot be paid for out of state funds. All the maintenance that’s done short of enforcement-all that has to be paid for out of parking fees."