Parking grace period may be eliminated

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December 4, 2009

5:16 AM

The College of William and Mary’s Parking Advisory Committee has recommended that the current grace period for parking in a student spot without a decal before the academic year be eliminated.

During the grace period, students without decals are allowed to park in any student section of a parking lot and not receive a ticket. Other parking citations can still be issued, however.

According to the committee, this period allows students to move and make preparations for the academic year without having to worry about having a parking decal. Student parking decals become available around July 15, and the current grace period extends from the Monday following freshman move-in through Aug. 31.

The committee believes about half of students eligible and able to have a car on campus purchase a parking decal as soon as they arrive on campus, and the remaining 50 percent wait as long as they can. During the grace period, the committee estimated that 65 percent of cars are parked out of their respective scheme — resident, day student or faculty, for example — and Parking Services receives complaints about lack of available parking on campus. Further, when classes begin, parking is difficult and eases when the grace period ends.

“It has a huge impact on normal operations,” Director of Parking Services Bill Horacio said. “We have to provide adequate parking for those who have a decal and properly observe the parking schemes, but people abuse the policy and park in any type of space.”

The committee has recommended that during the grace period, students with no decal should only be able to park in the William and Mary Hall lot. All other areas would be decal enforced.

“While I understand where [the criticism] comes from, I feel the grace period is valuable,” Erik Houser ’10, a committee member and Student Assembly senator, said. “There are some things that students need to do that they might not have a parking pass for, so I was disheartened that the parking advisory committee took this extreme route. Hopefully, in the future, the PAC will be more receptive to student needs.”

The committee hopes to reach a decision by the end of the semester, but no administrators have seen the proposal.

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