By Jason A. Vrtis
Arizona Daily Wildcat October 22, 1996
Since the beginning of the semester, Parking and Transportation Services has reported 19 incidents of property damage involving gated parking areas, a parking official said.
"The number of incidents we've had so far is probably double the number of incidents we had during the same period last year," said Michael Delahanty, program coordinator for Parking and Transportation.
However, Acting Lt. Brian Seastone of the University of Arizona Police Department said, "We have them periodically throughout the year, but there is no trend."
Although both wooden gate arms and concrete barriers have been damaged, Delahanty said about 90 percent of the incidents involve broken gate arms and most of the occurrences happen at night. He said it costs $24 to repair a broken gate arm and about $12 for the concrete barriers.
Parking and Transportation has spent about $672 to repair all the property damage, Delahanty said.
Broken gates and barriers also inconvenience the Parking and Transportation staff in terms of time and labor, he said. People who have paid for a permit in a gated area expect that area to be gated at all times, and unfortunately sometimes it is not, Delahanty said.
After finding the broken gate, Delahanty said it takes his staff a short time to have the gate operational again, but that detracts them from other jobs.
The gate arms are made out of wood and can be easily broken, he said, occasionally, one will malfunction and break off.
Delahanty said the wooden gates cannot be replaced by metal gates because if a metal gate malfunctions and breaks, the damage to a car would be a lot more extensive than that from a wooden one. Also, he said the motors that allow the parking gates to go up and down would not be able to carry the weight of a metal gate.
Since Oct. 3, Parking and Transportation has had four incidents of broken concrete barriers, with the most recent occurring Oct. 9 at Lot 2120 between North Cherry Avenue, North Warren Avenue, East Helen Street and East Mabel Street.
Delahanty said there are more gated areas on campus than ever before, and he thinks vandalism is higher.
The only way to stop this is to have someone stationed by the gate all night, Delahanty said. Neither Parking and Transportation nor UAPD have the resources for this, he said.
If a person is caught breaking a gate arm they could face criminal damage charges, and the degree of the penalty they will face depends on the circumstances of the incidents, Seastone said.