Students fined for using faculty parking lots


Contributing Writer

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Safety and Security issued approximately 50 parking violation warnings and 75 parking violation tickets to students so far this semester, matching amounts given in previous semesters.

Provoked by a lack of parking spaces in their own lots, students often risk receiving a $10 ticket to park in gold-designated faculty spaces, making it difficult for faculty members to find vacancies. It is not uncommon for faculty to be completely unable to find parking in their own lots because a large portion of the gold spots are taken by students.

“My choice [when this happens] is either to park in a vacant student spot, which makes me a violator and the whole process becomes quite cyclical, or I have to go find one in the street,” said Professor Jim Bulman. “There have been a couple of occasions when I have gotten to class a couple of minutes late simply because it has taken me 10 minutes or more to find a parking spot.”

“[The parking problem] all comes down to the fact that people want to park as close as possible,” said Director of Safety and Security Jeff Schneider.

Bulman said he does not sympathize with students worried about the distance on a campus as small as Allegheny’s. Occasionally he will write down the license plate number of a student violator and email it to security.

“For students to have to walk five minutes to get to their cars which they may use infrequently is not unduly burdensome,” Bulman said.

Less students have been issued parking permits than there are parking spaces, but finding a parking space is still difficult.

Not all parking lots are the same, as demand for parking spaces depends on the location of the lot. Ravine resident Ethan Winter, ’14, rarely struggles to find parking.

“The Ravine lot is usually pretty empty, actually,” said Winter.

Brooks resident Nicole Rodi, ’13, on the other hand, is often unable to park in the student lot closest to her building.

“The parking lot has nowhere near enough spaces for all of the people who want to park there,” said Rodi. “I just got a ticket [Tuesday] for parking in the employee lot, which has a lot more spaces than the student lot anyway. I am sorry that I do not want to walk all the way up the hill to go park in Steffee.”

Cory Muscara, ’12, no longer lives on campus but recalls his experiences parking during his first year at Allegheny.

“I parked in the wrong lot on principle twenty-seven times as a freshman, and I got twenty-seven parking tickets,” said Muscara. “I just did not agree with the system. The Baldwin parking lot is too far away to be associated with Baldwin.”

Students and faculty have their own suggestions for changes to the on-campus parking system.

“I think the best solution for me personally would be to start slashing tires, but I haven’t yet gotten permission from security to do that, so I am having to suppress that desire,” Bulman said. “A more systematic ticketing of violators would help too, though.”

“They should let us park in whatever lot we want if we pay for a parking spot, or they should just assign parking spots,” said Rodi. Whoever gets to registration first gets what they want. That is how most stuff works here.”