Monday, November 29, 2021

On-campus parking violators may face rise in fines

September 29, 2000

Those who choose to park illegally on campus might soon face heftier fines if the All-University Traffic Committee deems them necessary.

The AUTC appointed three subcommittees on Thursday to deal with issues concerning parking, parking violations and pedestrian right of way.

Each committee consists of faculty members, undergraduate students, graduate students, MSU officials and various other on-campus departments including Campus Park and Planning and the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities.

Fred Poston, assistant vice president for finance and operations, said students consistently receive more parking violations than faculty, staff and visitors.

“There were 127,000 parking violations last year,” Poston said. “The vast majority happened during only 9 months of the year and mainly during the daylight hours. When you think of it in those terms, that’s a very big number.”

Poston said most students are not affected by current ticket prices, which stand at around $20.

He said many students just incorporate the cost of tickets into their annual budgets.

“That was kind of a shock to the system,” Poston said. “We were not expecting that reaction.”

Parking ticket fines were doubled in 1985 and have not been altered since. Poston said while the increase initially reduced parking violations by 40 percent, the price is no longer a deterrent.

It may be time to reevaluate the fines, he said.

Kay Rout, chairperson of the traffic committee, said the number of student parking violations ultimately affects everyone on campus.

“There’s barely enough parking for faculty and staff and there’s nowhere to park when students park illegally,” she said.

Rout also said she expects that when officials begin discussing a raise in parking rates, many will be upset.

“This is a very contentious issue and hard feelings will be involved,” Rout said.

“But we have to completely reassess campus parking and pedestrian right of way.”

Communication freshman Quinn Wright, ASMSU finance committee chairman and representative for the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, was appointed to AUTC’s parking subcommittee.

He said it’s important to address parking and pedestrian issues now. ASMSU is the university’s undergraduate student government.

“This campus is not designed to encompass the number of drivers that go through it each day,” he said. “And pedestrians show no courtesy to on-campus drivers, which just causes more accidents.”

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