Friday, December 1, 2023

Opinion: Why I hate parking at the university

OpinionOp-EdOpinion: Why I hate parking at the university

Opinion Columnist

As a car-owning university employee, student and athlete who lived on campus last year, I know the pain that is paying for parking passes and violations. I’ve received my fair share of tickets both from Newark and UD Parking Services. Whether from forgetting to pay for parking on Main Street, neglecting to renew a pass or simply parking illegally, I’ve accumulated enough tickets to cover a wall in my apartment. 

Newark Parking is inconsistent with their ticketing. They ticket some people after parking illegally for two minutes but neglect to ticket people who parked illegally for hours and sometimes days. 

People in Newark shouldn’t get ticketed for violations that occur within the first 20 minutes of parking. There should be more leniency in paying for parking when people are running into stores to grab items like a prescription, a coffee or a mobile food order. Additionally,  if only a few individuals are getting ticketed for these short violations but many more aren’t, it is unfair for only those few individuals to be paying the price for their actions.

Back in the spring, my friend and I parked on Haines Street to pick up some coffees we had ordered online from Starbucks. Despite only being away from the car for two minutes, we returned to a parking officer writing us a ticket. Over the summer, I did the same thing except I parked on Main Street, yet I did not get a ticket. 

Even times when I’ve paid for parking I’ve gotten ticketed. I went to Honeygrow for an hour and accidentally parked in a loading zone where the labeling was barely noticeable. I was ticketed $20 for parking in a loading zone and $70 for a (confusing) violation called “Towing: Not Towed”. I’d paid for parking for the section that the loading zone was in and not only lost that money, but I lost an additional $30 when I unsuccessfully refuted the ticket. I learned the hard way that refuting a ticket is not free, but I’m not surprised that parking services took more of my money. 

I’m a college student living on a budget, meaning I can’t pay for frequent parking but I also can’t pay for frequent tickets. 

Like Newark Parking Services, UD Parking Services’ policies are also unfair. They require faculty and dining services employees to pay for parking. People getting paid to be present at the university shouldn’t have to pay to be present at the university.

Students who play sports or work at the university and live on campus potentially have to pay up to or over $1,000 for four parking spaces if they wish to park at their university worksite, athletic space, academic building and place of living. Multiple parking spots of any variation end up being costly. 

People affiliated with the university should only have to purchase a universal parking pass. Additionally, parking should be free on South Campus as athletes have to park here often and the lots are never full. 

Newark Parking Services should be more transparent about the reasons behind their tickets. Drivers should understand what they’re paying for with any ticket resulting in a significant financial loss. 

Newark and UD Parking Services should be more considerate, equitable and affordable.




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