Solving the Parking Problem
Between lack of spaces and distance from buildings, there are many parking issues at Frostburg State University (FSU). However, students, faculty and staff should remain aware of the rules and regulations of the university.
Chief of Police Cynthia R. Smith hopes, “[Students, faculty and staff will] take the time out to educate themselves on the parking rules and regulations [to avoid receiving a parking ticket.]”
Those who violate the parking restrictions are ticketed and then fined. Some of these restrictions include blocking a fire hydrant, restricted parking, parking in a handicapped space, meter violation, using a lost/stolen permit, failure to display the permit, and parking in a lot that does not coincide with the type of permit the individual has.
The University & Student Billing office, as well as the university police have ticket writers. Smith adds, “We do not make the rules, we enforce them and give the tickets.” The tickets are issued between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m.
According to the university police records, many parking tickets issued each semester. There were 1,674 in fall 2012, 1,035 from January 2013 to August 2013, 1,083 from August 2013 to December 2013, and 513 from January 2014 to March 26, 2014. Fines vary depending on the incident and the revenue from these tickets goes to the university fund.
Smith says the most tickets are issued for failure to display a permit properly, parking in a handicapped space, and blocking travel lanes.
Tickets can be paid online or by visiting the University & Student Billing office located in Pullen Hall. If tickets are paid within 24 hours of the ticket issue date, then the price of the ticket are cut in half.
There are different permits issued here at the University including handicapped, temporary, visitor, loading, black for students, red for faculty and staff, as well as green permits. Once the individual receives their permit, they should hang it on the rear view mirror.
It is important that the permit remains visible. Smith says it is not acceptable to place the permit on the dashboard or anywhere other than the rear view mirror. For each specific permit, there is a lot allotted to it. Signs are used in the lots, identifying who is permitted to park in them.
The parking lots are designated based on the color of the permits. According to the university police, there are 1,284 black parking spots, 679 red, 237 shared, 84 handicapped, 30 state vehicle, 27 reserved/other, 20 visitor, and 18 meter parking spaces. In total, there are 2,379 parking spaces on the FSU campus.
Although there is a large amount of spaces for the students, Smith says, “They [parking lots] are not always convenient [for parking close to the buildings students have to go to].”
Senior Jasmin Purnell agrees that parking spaces are far from her destinations. She says, “The library and Lane are two of the places that are mainly for students, but the lots near there are only for faculty and staff most of the time. I think there needs to be student parking around these locations, and the meters by the library should be for two hours, not one.”
Dean Bolt, a senior who lives in Frederick Hall has had similar problems and says, “It is ridiculous how you cannot park in certain places.”
For those living off-campus, parking spaces can be scare at certain times of the day. Off-campus junior Teyanna Carroll says, “Campus parking is very limited in my opinion. Driving to Lane or the library is hard when it comes to finding a parking spot.” She continues, “Off-campus drivers also have a hard time finding a parking spot because everyone does not have a permit.”
To receive a permit, the student, faculty or staff member can go to the University & Student Billing Office, located in Pullen Hall, between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Anyone, including vistors who want to park on campus, but must register with FSU.
Students living in the resident halls receive their permits free of charge. Off-campus students, as well as faculty and staff have to pay $40 per academic year. If the student or faculty member starts school during spring semester and they were not attending at the start of the school year, then they can get a permit for $20. Each issued permit is labeled with an expiration date and it identifies what type of permit it is.
“I think they should lower the price of the parking permits for off-campus students, make bigger lots, or make lots closer to all buildings so that people will not have to walk so far, especially in bad weather,” says senior Ashley St.Claire.
It is important for students, faculty, and staff to be aware of the parking requirements. Smith says, “They must understand those rules and regulations as a user of the parking facilities and abide by them.” She adds, “They are there for a reason and the University tries its hardest [to balance the needs of the students, faculty, and staff].”
Those with questions should contact the University Chief of Police Cynthia R. Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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