North Texas Daily

More accountability, fewer parking tickets

More accountability, fewer parking tickets

Parking tickets given for parking in a grassy area sit under a driver's windshield wiper in UNT parking lot 7 on Wednesday, August 26, 2015. Hannah Lauritzen | Design Editor

More accountability, fewer parking tickets
September 09
22:33 2015

The Editorial Board

Three weeks into the semester, it has become apparent that one of the largest issues surrounding the return to the classroom is the inability to park on campus.

This past Tuesday, the Sack ‘N Save parking lot behind the Denton campus became an available lot for students. But the question remains: What will become of this extra space once plans for construction in the area are finalized? This seems to be a temporary fix to a much larger problem.

What has drawn the most ire from students is the response, or rather lack thereof, from UNT Parking & Transportation Services. According to various students addressing this issue on Twitter, UNT police have ticketed those who have found themselves without a spot and have parked in undesignated areas, even if their vehicle has a displayed parking permit issued by the school.

Other complaints varied from being ticketed for presenting their permit on the wrong side of their vehicle, not being administered a permit refund upon requesting one and even being dropped from courses because of excessive tardiness.

While the situation is  understandable to a degree – the university is in a position of considerable shift, construction and planning for the future – the response from officials is most troubling.

UNT is boasting a premier period of enrollment with more than 37,000 students registered for classes. The parking office has offered suggestions to this issue on its website, such as: plan ahead for parking by investigating multiple parking options and arriving early to campus.

This is condescending and dismissive of the issue. Ticketing helpless students, many of them commuters whom are subject to unpredictable traffic on a daily basis, adds insult to injury.

Texas Woman’s University, with an enrollment less than 15,000, has addressed the question of parking through paid attendants who notify approaching students when lots are full, and offer them with alternatives in a real, person-to-person interaction. While not quite achievable on a mass scale at UNT, the placement of attendants at peak parking hours may help to remedy the issue.

With the enrollment surging,  there has never been a more pressing time to act.

The parking office declined to comment on the matter, which isn’t surprising, as those of us at North Texas Daily have often found it easier to procure a meeting with Neal Smatresk, UNT president, than to locate or speak to a single representative of parking services.

This disconnect is wholly unacceptable. Such a  dire and significant service should be in constant contact with students.

Those of us who find ourselves driving to class each day hope that, in the future, the parking situation is addressed in a manner of greater empathy and in a more collaborative effort so greater attention might be given to issues of greater significance.

We commend the will of the university in its goal to reach status as a tier-one research institution. We simply ask that the powers that be not neglect the accountability associated with entitlement.

Let there be parking.

Featured Image: Parking tickets given for parking in a grassy area sit under a driver’s windshield wiper in UNT parking lot 7 on Wednesday, August 26. This was the third day of school. Hannah Lauritzen | Design Editor

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2 Comments

  1. now i'm mad
    now i'm mad September 10, 17:53

    The parking situation here is ridiculous. I was late to class almost everyday trying to find parking, and now they think they have done some good by extending parking to Victory, which is on the other side of the campus. And even then there is no guarantee that you will get a spot. They hand out tickets like flyers, as if we don’t have enough trouble trying to just get to class, and make our financial situation even tighter. I even received a citation for parking on campus after 8pm in a visitor lot, which definitely doesn’t make any sense, especially since there are NO SIGNS AT ALL stating that you needed some sort of “visitor’s permit” in order to park there. The staff at the highland street garage who are supposed to “help” are also pretty rude and condescending, because I was interrupted the entire time I was trying to explain my situation there. Overall, the entire parking system at UNT just sucks.

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  2. Randy
    Randy September 11, 09:15

    The parking situation at UNT is a scam, selling 11,000 tickets to a 12,000 seat venue is fraud. As a lum ( class of 74′) I now have my son enrolled in engineering school and he complains daily of the lack of parking spaces available in the paid parking areas and having to fight for a space if one opens up. He tells me that he is routinely late to class. We live close by and because of the I35 construction we decided to get him an apartment right off campus. We paid for a pass for parking with the University as well. I smell a class action lawsuit if this continues which I will gladly participate. This problem is perpetuated by lack of management from the top and gives my old alma matter a very bad rep.

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