Editorial: Parking sticker policy makes little sense

DoubleParkingStickerComic.jpgSince the school year began, there have been a few changes in parking. The addition of 100 faculty parking spaces, the loss of 200 student parking spaces and tickets being handed out for keeping last year’s parking permit on your windshield in addition to this year’s permit.

You read that right. Students are being ticketed for having the current and past year’s stickers on their windshield. The first offense is just a warning, but the next offense costs $10 and every ticket after that comes with a $25 fine.

Matt Penney, director of parking and transportation services, said the reason for this is because the permits are similar in appearance.

This new rule is meant to help the parking patrols see who does and does not have the new parking permit.
This reason, however, does not make sense.

It’s true the stickers are similar in appearance. The expired permit is a square, while the new permit has inward arches on its sides. While visually scanning a parking area, the two could be easily confused, but not if the two permits are displayed at the same time. It’s common sense that the vehicle with two permits is not illegally parked in student parking.

Also, if the parking patrol notices a vehicle with a single parking permit but can’t tell if it’s the new one or not, then they can simply walk toward the vehicle to confirm.

It’s harder to see which permit the vehicle has if there is only a single permit present.

If anything, the confusing part of the parking patrol’s job would be having to scan a parking lot and issue a ticket to a student who has purchased both stickers.

The parking permits cost $300 last year and that price remained constant this year. After paying $300 for a parking permit, why not keep it on your car for as long as you can?

Some students consider the number of parking permits on their vehicle a sign of seniority.

It’s a visual display of how many years they’ve been at Baylor. Some students could even claim it’s a sign of pride.

There are some features of the new permits that are convenient. For instance, they easily peel off when needed and are transferable between vehicles.

It seems that the main problem is that the new permit is too similar to the expired permit. If this is the case, then redesign the new permit. This makes more sense than issuing unnecessary tickets to students.

In previous years, Parking Services had new designs for parking permits every year. The size, shape and color of the permits would often vary from the previous year’s design.

This made it easy for the parking patrols to see the new permit. While it is unclear why this policy changed for this year’s permit, but our suggestions should certainly be applied to next year’s permit to prevent confusion.

There is a way to get the ticket thrown out in the processing of ticketing a car with an expired permit.

The student can bring the parking tickets and the expired permit to the Parking Services office in Robinson Tower within 14 days of the violation to cancel any fines they may have been issued.

In light of the rather silly rule of not allowing two permits, this is not exactly a moment of clarity for Parking Services.

Getting the ticket removed, however, has its drawbacks. It’s time consuming for the student to drive to Robinson Tower.

In addition, it’s time consuming for parking patrols to look for offending vehicles. All in all, the new rule is a waste of time and energy.

Next year, the permits should look drastically different from the past two years so students don’t have to get a ticket for buying a parking permit.