Sweating, breathing heavily and frantically looking for a parking space close to Bibb Graves Hall is a daily function for drivers at UWA.
“When I have to go to Bib Graves, the library or Foust, it’s extremely rare to find a spot,” David Ewing, a senior majoring in nursing, observed.
Many students seem to have come to the same conclusion Ewing has about UWA parking while remaining unaware of the numerous improvements UWA has made in recent years.
According to Lee Stanton, chairperson of the UWA Parking and Traffic Committee, the university has fully updated their parking regulations and ticket information the past three years in a row. Students, faculty, staff and volunteers are in charge of an assembled committee that remains available to hear out every idea and issue.
Some of the recent updates include an easier ticket appeal process, emergency call boxes around campus, new ticket regulations, speed bumps and the hiring of new campus officers.
The newest update the committee has made is the e-form, which is an electronic form online for on-campus students and commuters to register their vehicles and purchase their hangtags.
The appearance of a hangtag is doubtlessly the most strictly enforced of all the parking rules. The parking hangtag ranges in price depending on the applicant’s status as either faculty/staff, resident student, commuter, community member or visitor. The prices are as follows:
– Faculty/Staff: $5
– Resident Student: $ 15
– Commuter: $25
– Community member: free
– Visitor: free
“I think the cost of the parking permit is way too high,” Devan Hines freshman majoring in special education said. However, these fees are quite reasonable when compared to the cost of parking at larger schools like the University of Alabama, where a parking pass is $175 per semester.
Students’ biggest issue with UWA’s parking regulations is the enforcement of tickets by campus police. According to Stanton, students are unaware that there are 13 different entrances and exits at UWA along with only two campus officers patrolling in any given shift.
The ticketing process received a recent overhaul. Now, each ticket costs $25, and violations range from having no hangtag to parking in an improper space. After the first violation, the ticket fee increases by $25. Students are only allowed three violations per semester. Once a student receives a third violation, a boot goes on their vehicle and their driving privileges are lost.
“We’re not out to get you,” Stanton said. “These rules and regulations are signed by every UWA car owner and ensure protection for students and the university.”
Not all students express negativity towards UWA’s parking regulations. According to Mandi Headrick, senior majoring in athletic training, parking has improved significantly since freshman can now park at Gilbert Hall.
There will be no more renovations for parking lots in the near future, but more video cameras will be added around campus. According to Stanton, safety and convenience is our major concern. “If that means you have to park up at the stadium and walk 5 minutes to class to not get a ticket so be it,” stated Stanton.
For more information about UWA’s parking rules and regulations see http://www.uwa.edu/Traffic_Rules.aspx .