Administration proposes changes for purchasing parking permits

Parking and Transportation Administrator Kelsey Costello (pictured above) introduces proposed parking rules.. The modifications attempt to increase parking compliance (Malachy Dempsey/incoming managing  Editor).

University Police and the Office for Parking and Transportation plan to alter the college’s parking permits system to decrease congestion in parking lots. The new rules would push students to buy permits for specific lots. 

Parking and Transportation Administrator Kelsey Costello explained the proposal at a forum on Thursday April 19 in the MacVittie College Union Room 322/3. 

“What we’re looking at doing is, instead of selling permits just for resident students that park in any resident student lots, we’re looking to sell permits per lot,” Costello said. “So you would buy an R lot permit or an E lot permit and that is where you are allowed to park.” 

Under the new rules, permits for popular lots that are near residence halls—such as E, R and TT—will increase by $30, from $120 for an annual permit to $150. Lots that are moderately popular will maintain the same cost, but lots that are far from residence halls will decrease to $90 or $60 for an annual permit. 

Students who drive less frequently or who are looking to save money can buy a cheaper permit for further lots, such as Lot U on Southside.

“Right now, we’re having the problem of students who park and don’t ever move their cars are parking in the prime parking,” Costello said. “If you’re never going to use your car or you don’t mind the walk, you pay a lot less.”

International relations and political science double major sophomore Michael Badalamenti, who currently lives on Northside, said that he would not be interested in paying less to park further away. 

“I’d pay the bit more to be able to park down [near where I live],” Badalamenti said. 

A key part of the change will restrict the number of permits sold, according to Costello. 

“We’re not going to oversell the lots,” Costello said. “In fact, we’re looking to undersell the lots a little bit because people will still park in the wrong lot.” 

Badalamenti expressed some concerns about the proposed changes. 

“My main concern would be with limiting it in such a way that you can’t park anywhere else,” Badalamenti said. “Sometimes I’ll park over in T lot [near Southside] if I need to do something over there and I was in my car, and if I wasn’t able to do something like that it would be annoying.”

To such concerns, Costello stressed that students would still have other options around campus.

“You can still park in load zones, metered spaces,” Costello said. “The rules won’t change for parking in faculty/staff lots after 4:30 p.m. in certain lots, but our hope with this is to try and keep students out of faculty/staff lots and in student lots and wherever they can appropriately park in.” 

Costello noted that the college lacks the ability to assign parking spots for specific students. Assigning individualized spots for students or faculty would be difficult due to enforcing non-compliance and managing whose spot is whose, according to Costello. 

In order to ensure students have parking in the lots they are permitted for, enforcement of parking rules will increase, according to Costello. 

“Unfortunately, not everybody follows the rules, and because of that there will be some displacement,” Costello said. “We do have work-study students that are ticket writers. We’d like to increase the number of work-study students we have and kind of spread them out.”

Along with more ticket writers, Costello suggested that ticket prices could increase for students that do not comply with the new rules.  

“The Parking and Transportation Advisory committee has approved an increase, whether or not we see that increase actually implemented for next year has yet to come.” Costello said. 

International relations and economics double major sophomore Jimmy Connolly experienced problems with parking on-campus, but doubts that this initiative would fix the system. 

“I want change but I’m a glass half-empty kind of person,” Connolly said. “I think it’s a step in the right direction, but I doubt that they’re actually going to enforce it and it will still be a problem for those of us who pay to park in one lot when that lot is full.”

Badalamenti did not seem convinced that the changes would be effective.

 “I think that no matter what, you’ll have issues with parking down here just because there’s a lack of parking,” he said. “I don’t think it’s inherently a bad idea. I can just see issues arising from it.’