• Olivia Parker | Contributing Writer

Parking tickets break hearts and break the bank

If you have frustrations about parking and tickets at GC, you are not alone: 20,000 parking tickets were issued to students in fall 2017.

GC students who drive to campus are highly susceptible to receiving parking tickets. One student, junior Anslee Broome, an education major and tutor in the Math Lab, has received seven parking tickets.

“Parking at GC is insanity,” Broome said.

She received one ticket for parking in front of a fire hydrant on her way to work. She said the yellow painted curb was very dull at the time, and she was unaware that she could not park in that spot. Broome expressed her irritation because while she was working for GC, it was issuing her a parking ticket.

Ben Fleck, a student employee for Parking and Transportation, also received a parking ticket before he started this job his sophomore year. Since working here, he has learned valuable tips to avoid getting any more parking tickets.

“Make sure the lot you are parking in is the right permit type,” Fleck said. “Utilize the Irwin Street lot; that is massive. A shuttle will pick you up and drive you to The Max or library. Also, the Napier Lot has two rows of commuter space that [are] usually empty.”

According to the GC parking website, the following five parking tips will help students avoid getting a ticket: –

1. Register for and pick up your permit—you’ve already paid for it through your student fees.

2. Hang your permit from your rearview mirror — and leave it there.

3. Park in lots you are permitted to. Signs are at the entrance of each lot.

4. Don’t park where you shouldn’t. (Shuttle stops, fire lanes, grassy areas, curbs, reserved spaces, etc.)

5. Only park in timed spaces for as long as you are allowed.

While these instructions are simple, when you do not give yourself an ample amount of time to circle the campus to find an empty parking spot, especially ones without time limits, you might have to take a chance and park in forbidden spots.

“If you have parked in an employee lot before and didn’t get a ticket, it doesn’t mean you won’t the next time,” Fleck said.

Broome and other students who have chosen the last resort of parking in the employee lots have received tickets.

They had no other choice but to park there because they knew they would be late to class or even miss the class entirely.

The two-hour time restriction on parking spots aggravates students. Broome has not parked in a two-hour spot in over a year.

“I will never be anywhere for only two hours,” Broome explained. “The GC Police make a living off of two-hour parking tickets.”

John Bowen, senior manager of Parking and Transportation Services, understands the struggle that comes with the two-hour time limit.

“The city manages those spaces and decides what to do with them,” Bowen said. “GC would love for them to be open and untimed.”

To most people, the obvious fix to this problem would be to build a parking deck. Bowen was discouraged from looking into the building of a parking deck because of the extreme cost and upkeep it would require.

Constructing a parking deck that contains 500 to 600 spaces could cost the city of Milledgeville thousands of dollars per parking space and would require constant maintenance and energy.

While students are frustrated that they pay for a parking permit included in their tuition but have trouble finding parking spaces, Bowen and Fleck both explained how perimeter lots are under-used.

Parking and Transportation officials at GC do not think it is completely necessary that the school build a parking deck unless they see that all of the available lots are being used to their capacity.

In addition to the perimeter lot on Irwin Street that has no time limit, Parking and Transportation has recently added 120 shared commuter and guest parking spots in the Centennial Center lot. These lots are less than a mile walk from campus.

Bowen admitted that the reason for the substantial amount of tickets given in the fall semester was due to the officers trying to be more consistent and thorough each day.

Although the parking spots on campus are difficult to come by, especially spots without a time limit, there are alternatives that Parking and Transportation encourage frustrated students to use so they can avoid more pricey parking tickets ranging from $30 to over $100.

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