Increase in parking permits yield less citations

Mikaela Cannizzo

The number of parking citations issued on campus has decreased over the past several years simply because less drivers have failed to display permits, according to Bobby Stone, director of Parking and Transportation Services.

According to the most recent available data from Parking and Transportation Services, citations issued on campus decreased by approximately 19 percent between 2011 and 2014. Revenues from permits sold to students also increased from $12,942 to $14,911 within the same time span.

Stone said permits are required when parking in the street or on surface lots, and violations result in citations. He said an increase in garage parking, where permit and non-permit parking are allowed simultaneously, has contributed to the overall
citation decrease.

“For some students getting parking citations is a learning experience,” Stone said. “Since most of the citations issued are for people who have not paid to park on campus, I can’t characterize the citations we issue as a problem but rather view it as an important service in support of all the students who purchase permits to park.”

Parking in a garage allows payment by the hour without requiring a permit, but Stone said he recommends students buy one that meets their particular needs.

Class “C” permits are most popular among students and offer parking in designated areas and Longhorn Lots, which include mostly lots on the eastern edges of campus. Collectively, students have spent over $5,000 on these permits per year.

However, PTS classifies parking convenience for class “C” permits as low. The price of these permits for the 2016-2017 year will be $133 and can be purchased online.

Advertising graduate student Brandee Dudenhoefer said she commutes to campus and parks on the street, but does not have a permit. She said she has received about four citations over the past two years because she did not arrive to the meter on time to pay for her parking.

“I know there are permits you can purchase, but the areas in which you can use these permits are far from the buildings I go to and I can’t make it to campus early enough,” Dudenhoefer said. “When I first came to school here I decided to forgo a permit because many people had told me what a hassle it was and you’re not guaranteed parking as the lots fill up fast.”

According to the PTS website, “purchasing a parking permit signifies that an individual has been granted the privilege of parking a vehicle on University property and does not guarantee a parking place on campus.” 

Stone said the number of citations issued is not abnormal for a campus with over 50,000 students, 17,000 faculty and staff and 100,000 visitors at any given time. 

In the future, Stone said the addition of more garage parking is likely in order to maintain a balance between users and parking spaces.