How Much Could You Buy with 33,959 Parking Tickets

From The Battalion

By Stuart Womack

Published: Friday, February 17, 2006

Image bar graph comparing cost of things students spend money on

Zach Barrett, Class of 2002, said his situation was getting out of hand after he received his third citation for illegally parking behind the Bright Football Complex.

"When you're parked in a big lot with several empty spaces and you get ticketed for being a little over the line, it starts to get a little ridiculous," he said. "To them, it's all about making money."

In 2005, 33,959 parking citations were written, according to the Transportation Services Web site. The most frequent citations included 14,911 for absence of valid permits, 8,408 for parking in unauthorized areas and 2,970 time violations for night permits.

All vehicles on campus are required to display a valid parking permit at all times when parked on University property, said Rodney E. Weis, director of Transportation Services.

"All our regulations are on our Web site," he said. "We don't hide anything from anyone and we do all we can to encourage people to comply with the regulations."

Anyone with a valid Texas A&M parking permit may park in any unrestricted space from 5 p.m. until 6 a.m., according to the Web site.

"We moved the time back to 5 o'clock from 5:30 two years ago to give students a little more leeway, but we have to protect the permit holders until that time," Weis said.

Students sometimes get confused about when and where they are able park, said Michelle Hanham, a senior biomedical science major.

"I didn't know that permits were required over the summer, so I left my car overnight in a general student parking lot last summer," Hanham said. "The next morning I found a ticket. The lot was completely empty."

Several lots are available for people to park in with any valid parking permit at all times of the day, according to the Web site. These lots include lot 1, lot 43, lot 90, lot 100, lot 110, lot 113, lot 117 and lot 120.

Students who receive citations have the ability to plead their cases through an appeal process, which must be completed within 14 days of the issued citation. The appeal must contain substantial and valid evidence in the defendants' behalf.

The form can be found on the Transportation Services Web site. The appeals are evaluated by a three-member board that determines whether the citation will be dismissed.

Weis said Transportation Services does what it can to make information available to students in order to avoid confusion.

"We are not harsh but we enforce the regulations as they are posted on the signs and on our Web site," he said. "No parking means no parking."

What were the tickets for?
Adán Peña - The Battalion