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Students risk tickets for prime parking

By Georgeanne Barrett
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, November 19, 2004
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Some students say they are willing to risk getting a parking ticket to get a more convenient parking spot, or to save time fighting for a spot in crowded garages and parking lots.

Kyle Harrington, an undeclared sophomore, said he parks in places he is not supposed to on campus, but has been lucky enough to not get a parking ticket. He said he understands why Parking and Transportation has to give tickets, but he feels sometimes it is just more convenient to park somewhere you shouldn't.

"They are just doing their job," Harrington said. "But I think they could be focusing on more important things."

Harrington said he will continue to take his chances and park in areas where he does not have a permit.

"If I get a ticket it might deter me for a little bit," Harrington said. "But really, it's not a big thing. It's only $20."

Susanne Hinrichs, an ecology and evolutionary biology senior, said she has received many parking tickets for various reasons.

"I think they are really eager to give tickets," Hinrichs said. "They take every chance to get money out of students."

Hinrichs said due to the high prices of parking permits, she will most likely continue to park in places she is not supposed to.

"I don't have a permit anymore because I can't afford it," Hinrichs said. "I'm not trying to get tickets."

Joyce Childers, parking coordinator for enforcement at Parking and Transportation Services, said six officers are out 24 hours a day Monday through Friday to patrol all of the parking lots on campus.

Childers said the campus is broken up into four quads with one officer in each quad.

Two "rover" officers move all around campus to patrol all the areas. Officers try to patrol meters, Zone 1 lots and garages equally by not focusing on one particular area.

"Hopefully everything is enforced equally," Childers said. "But due to lot closures, sometimes some places are just more busy."

Childers said on campus there are 5,500 garage parking spots, 4,500 Zone 1 parking spots, 1,200 lot-specific parking spots, and approximately 450 parking meters.

If I get a ticket it might deter me for a little bit. But really, it's not a big thing. It's only $20.
Kyle Harrington, undeclared sophomore

"Meters and permit violations are about half and half," Childers said referring to the number of violations written. "There are not as many violations in the garages."

Childers said in the garages a warning will be given for the first violation, and then a ticket will be issued.

Childers said there are several areas on campus where people violate parking rules more than other areas. She said due to construction, Zone 1 lots north of Speedway Boulevard fill up much more quickly than they used to.

"People double parking and parking in disabled spaces is also a problem," Childers said.

She said the Zone 1 lot near the Architecture building is a huge problem at night because people park in driveways and block the lot.

"Another problem area is the Student Union circle," Childers said. "Everyone wants to be there."

Childers said Parking and Transportation Services are taking steps to alleviate the parking problem by doing things like building a new parking garage.

The new garage, due to be finished in 2005, will be located between East Helen Street and East Mabel Street between North Highland Avenue and North Vine Avenue, Childers said.

Sgt. Eugene Mejia, spokesman of the UAPD, said UAPD does not usually write parking tickets, but will intervene if there is a problem.

"Honestly, officers don't even carry parking citations with them," Mejia said. "We do have the power to do it."

Mejia said normally the only condition that will get UAPD involved in a parking issue is if the problem is threatening life or property.

He explained another example of when UAPD would get involved in a parking issue is if a vehicle has been abandoned in the middle of the road and has become a hazard, in which case the vehicle will be towed.

"If there is an immediate hazard of life or property and it is necessary we will take action," Mejia said.

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