Parking violations add up

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UW-Whitewater students, faculty and staff are not alone when they find the dreaded pink slip under their windshieldwiper blades.

UW-Whitewater Parking Services has issued more than 6,800 parking citations so far this academic year.

“Parking services issue roughly 16,000 parking citations each year,” Parking Services Director Bob Brecklin said.

During the 2009-10 academic year, 16,093 citations were issued. The amount issued for the 2008-09 academic year was 16,834.

A majority of the citations issued are for vehicles without a permit parked on campus and for vehicles parked at expired meters, Brecklin said. Close to 6,100 of this year’s citations are for those two violations.

“Where the meters are located, it’s more convenient than permit parking,” Brecklin said. “When students arrive late to campus, they tend to use the meters because they are close to buildings.”

Brecklin said meters are designed to not allow students to use them during classes.

“The meters have a 30-minute limit,” Brecklin said. “They are meant to be used for running errands such as talking to a professor quickly or dropping off a paper.”

The fines for parking without a permit and parking in a spot with an expired meter are $15 each. Violators have five business days to pay fines before the amount rises. Fines for parking without a permit and parking at an expired meter rise to $22 each.

Senior Jillian Griffel said the prices of parking citations have risen since last year.

“I got a ticket for having an expired meter,” Griffel said. “It was a $15 ticket. Last year I got the same ticket and it was only $10.”

Griffel said she parked in a metered spot when she was on her way to class.

Brecklin said parking services patrol campus lots continuously throughout the day.

According to the Parking Services website, annual resident parking passes are $220, and annual commuter passes are $110.

The issue of illegal parking also extends into the city. As of September of this year, the City of Whitewater Police Department was issued 2,696 parking citations, according to the Whitewater Police Department Consolidated Monthly Report issued in September.

According to the report the city has already collected $76,928.50 in fines from parking violations this year. At the current rate, the city will collect more than $100,000 for the year.

In 2008, the city issued 7,138 parking citations and collected $126,944 in fines. In 2009, the city issued 5,209 parking citations and collected $121,320.

Lt. Tim Gray said the decrease in fines can be attributed to many factors.

“The department has been short officers,” Gray said. “Injuries, resignations, family and medical leaves have all lead to the department being understaffed. Parking enforcement is low on our priorities list.”

Gray said the police department is more likely to issue parking citations and tow vehicles after a snowfall, to allow the city to plow the streets. He said in addition to Whitewater police officer, the department employs three community service officers whose main duty is to issue parking citations.

For more information on on-campus parking, visit the parking services website at: www.uww.edu/adminaffairs /parking/citations.html. For more information on parking within the city of Whitewater, contact the Whitewater Municipal Court and Clerk’s office at 262-473-0580.