Parking policy changes to reorganize spaces and fines

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April 29, 2011

1:20 AM

Changes to parking allocation and policy over the past year left some students at College of William and Mary grumbling.

“Parking is a nightmare on campus,” resident parking pass holder Michelle Barber ’12 said. “And everyone knows it.”

While over the past year some resident parking spaces on campus have been replaced by faculty and staff parking spots, the Parking Advisory Committee is also considering changing its fining policies for the 2011-2012 year.

A citation review by the Parking Advisory Committee indicated that the majority of parking citations have decreased over the past year, with a few areas of increased citations.

Citations involving decal offenses, which incur a $161 fee, experienced the greatest increases. Warning citations for decal violations increased from 1,818 July 1, 2010 to 2,084 on March 30, 2011, which is a 13 percent increase. There was a 10 percent increase in the number of “no decal” citations in the same time interval.

As a solution to the rising number of violations, the Parking Advisory Committee recommended increasing the decal offense fine to $170 in its April 20 presentation.

Loading zone citations, which are lower level citations involving a lower fee, increased by 94 citations for first offenses from July 1, 2010 to March 30, 2011, while first offenses for overtime parking increased by 22 citations in the same time interval.

Committee recommendations focused on a graduated fine scheme that would apply only to Level I offenses. Offenses would increase by $20 after each repeat offense, beginning with a $10 fee for a first offense.

“[The graduated fine scheme] would be more forgiving of a one-time mistake and encourages payment on lesser offenses because of the lower dollar value,” the committee said in its presentation.

The spring semester also saw the reallocation of parking spaces on campus, including the replacement of 12 resident parking spots with faculty and staff parking spots in the Zable Stadium parking lot.

“Faced with these losses the Parking Advisory Committee which includes resident and day students as well as faculty and staff reviewed the overall allocation and agreed to redistribute the remaining spaces accordingly,” Manager of College Parking Services Bill Horacio said in an e-mail.

According to Horacio, parking lot count data indicated that on any given day, there was a surplus of 150 to 200 unused spaces in the William and Mary Hall lot.

“It doesn’t really make sense that if they had a surplus of resident spaces in William and Mary hall lot, they would take away resident spots in the stadium lot,” Barber said. “Residents only park at William and Mary hall if it is a last resort. A lot of that parking lot is used by freshmen with their special parking decals.”

Barber also cited the lack of sufficient notification of the parking change as a reason for discontent among students.

“It was really annoying that they put them there,” Barber said. “I know a lot of people who got tickets because they didn’t know the change had taken place.”

Horacio noted that Parking Advisories advertised the change in the Staff Digest, Student Happenings, the Parking ListServ, its Facebook page, and signage in the lot.

“There is a great need for more resident parking spaces on campus,” Barber said. “It is really bad that people are late to classes because they can’t find a parking space.”

Currently, there are no more are plans to change parking allocation.

“The Parking Advisory Committee felt that no other adjustments to the campus parking scheme and distribution across campus are necessary at this time,” Horacio said.

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