Students Concerned TTU Parking Regulations Are Not 'Fine'

Although University Parking Services have made several parking changes within the last couple of years, some Tech students said they still think it is a flawed system.

Stacy Moncibaiz, marketing coordinator at University Parking Services, said the Texas Administration Code is what gives them the power to regulate parking on campus.

“We have over 30,000 students and employees now, so regulating parking is kind of one of those necessary items,” Moncibaiz said.

She said she thinks the transition from traditional parking permits to the new ePermits on campus has been very efficient. She said ePermits register student parking permits through their license plate numbers, which allows parking patrol cars to scan hundreds of license plates at a time in order to identify parking violators.

“It has been faster for us to scan lots and see the people who are paying to park there versus the ones who haven’t paid or don’t have that permit,” Moncibaiz said. “It has also made it a lot easier for us to monitor lot utilization because students are on campus at different times during the day.”

Moncibaiz said this change has not only been helpful for parking services, but it has been more efficient for student and employee permit holders.

Courtney Bier, a junior psychology major from Houston, said she strongly disagrees.

“Let’s start with the fact that I got a ticket today for not having an approved permit when I paid over $400 for an annual permit in June,” Bier said.

“I put a note on my car specifying that I would be in the mass communications building for 10 minutes and to please not give me a ticket,” she said. “I saw a man who worked for parking services on my way in and explained my situation to him. He said I would be fine if it was less than 20 minutes. I came out 13 minutes later to find a ticket on my car.”

Bier said she is concerned with the lack of visitor parking and no short-term parking spaces outside of buildings.

“Sometimes I need to run into a building and do something quickly, and I do not have an hour or longer to spend waiting for and riding the bus,” Bier said.

Jessica Moore, a junior marketing and management major from Rockwall, said she thinks there should be areas on campus where students can park for free.

“I was trying to get to an interview in a full suit and heels and I got a ticket for parking where I wasn’t supposed to even though it was raining,” she said.

Moore said she bought a parking pass for the lot across the street from the business building, but she said it is usually full.

“When it is full I end up having to park at 2520 [apartment building], which, in turn, makes me late to class,” Moore said. “That is what I was trying to avoid by purchasing a parking pass in the first place.”

Moncibaiz said there are some free visitor parking areas and there is also paid visitor parking.

“Behind West Hall at the visitor center there is some free parking,” she said, “and then around the key by administration there is some free, timed parking. There is also some timed parking by the Merket Alumni Center.”

Bier said parking at the Robert H. Ewalt Student Recreation Center is also a big issue for her.

“There is never any parking at the Rec Center,” Bier said. “I have gone to the Rec at 9 a.m. with too few individuals in sight for the entire parking lot to be full.”

Moncibaiz said parking services have expanded the Rec Center parking lot due to the large amount of complaints received from students.

“This semester we extended Rec Center parking, so now it’s that whole half of the C-11 lot,” she said. “We have had a positive response from that, so hopefully it has helped out the students who are going there.”

Moncibaiz said many students do not know that parking at the Recreation Center is free for current permit holders.

“If you already have any type of parking permit, you can park at the Rec Center for free,” she said. “We still have the two hour maximum just to make sure it gives you enough time to work out, but also to make sure people aren’t abusing it to go to class.”

Bier said she thinks the expansion of the Rec Center parking lot has been helpful, but there are still improvements that could be made in regard to wrongful ticketing.

“I think parking services could definitely improve on making sure individuals have actually passed the two-hour parking limit before they issue a ticket,” she said.

Moncibaiz said she is not exactly sure how the two-hour limit is regulated by the parking patrol cars.

“The patrol cars can go through lots and mark license plates,” she said, “I believe it’s kind of similar to parking enforcement on Lubbock streets. ”

Moore said having to wait until late afternoon to park at the library is very inconvenient.

“I still hold a grudge for dead day last year when I wasn’t able to utilize the library because I didn’t have a parking pass,” Moore said. “The buses didn’t come to where I lived at the time, and I didn’t want to walk there and then have to walk home alone at 5 a.m.”

Moncibaiz said the on-campus busses run until 7 p.m., Monday thru Friday. She also said there is a night shuttle, which is accessible by students if they call 742-NITE. She said the night shuttle only runs on campus though, so students living off campus would need to find alternate transportation.

Bier said she thinks she is finally familiar with the parking rules now that she is a junior, but as a freshman and sophomore she was completely confused.

“There are a lot of spots by Stangel [residence hall] marked as visitor parking, so as a sophomore living off campus I considered myself a visitor,” Bier said. “I would get a parking ticket and be like, ‘What the heck did I do wrong now?’”

Moore, on the other hand, said she still does not think students are well informed about parking rules and regulations.

“Having one post with three different sign designations on it with four different arrows pointing down the rows marked with various times is ridiculous,” Moore said.

“The first day of the semester I got a ticket because I was confused by the signs,” she said. “Parking services said ‘tough luck, pay more attention.’ I hope parking services employees know that they are day-ruiners.”

Moncibaiz said parking services uses several methods to communicate parking rules to Texas Tech students.

“We usually have a table at new student orientation, ” she said. “We use TechAnnounce and social media a lot, because those are what students are using. We usually get very positive responses with those.”

Moncibaiz said parking services also uses posters for events, postcards, and emails to communicate with students and staff regarding parking information.

Moore said she thinks parking services could better communicate with the student body if parking patrol employees were more understanding.

“We have one of the largest campuses in the nation and I feel as though we could use an empty lot for students to utilize without having to pay more in addition to the cost of tuition,” she said.

Matt Chavarria, a parking services employee, said students complain to him about being ticketed all the time.

“It actually happened just a second ago,” he said. “She was complaining because she didn’t understand the rules and I explained them to her but she still didn’t like it because she got a ticket.”

Chavarria said he understands no one likes getting a ticket.

He said he has been working for parking services for a long time and when students have questions about parking he answers them to the best of his ability.

Moncibaiz said parking services encourages students to call or email them about any issues or concerns. She said parking services can be reached at 742-PARK or by email, at parking@ttu.edu.

“We are always open to suggestions, and if you have a problem or question we are happy to help,” she said. “Students provide us with a lot of fantastic ideas, which we are then able to implement in order to help them out.”

by Morgan Crump
Contributed to The Hub by Jour 3312

About Morgan Crump

Comments

  1. Tiago Jabur says:

    It’s pretty darn obvious that people that get tickets are going to complain about it. Students are very aware of the parking rules and regulations on campus so there shouldn’t be any surprise when a yellow slip appears on the front window of their cars. These kids complaining are just mad they got a ticket and too proud to admit they were wrong.

  2. From my friend circles, they do not check TechAnnounce. I do not know why that is, but they just do not.

  3. The signs in the parking lots ARE confusing! It is assumed that everyone already understands the Tech parking system. You know what happens when you ASSuME, right?
    Parking reserved for authorized pass holders (or something similar to that) — I am a parking pass holder, but it doesn’t include me. Why not just say “Staff and faculty parking only”?

  4. None the tow are legal due to changes in the Law effective Sept 1, 2013. The Occupations Code, not the Administrative Code regulates parking facilities. Not one singe reserved parking space is legal to tow from as in order to designated spaces in a restricted parking area, the space is required to be mark in the front and rear of space.

    TTU officials should be ashamed of themselves for knowingly engaging in organized criminal activity for financial gain against the student population.

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