Concerning Aleshia Haselden's Parking Services column: I agree.
I was ticketed at the AJ building's meters recently. Twice, in the same parking spot, in the same day. How can this happen? A combination of things are to blame.
After dropping 50 cents in the meter, I headed off to class at 2 p.m. This class goes until 2:50 but we got out a little early and I found out I had been ticketed at 2:48. At this point, my rationale was, "OK, I'm paying five dollars anyway (about 450 more minutes worth) so I guess I'll just leave the car here and go finish my paper at RB."
I returned to my car at 7:30 to find that I had been ticketed again at 6:48. With tickets in hand, I stormed into Parking Services a few days later with a look of death and told them a few things that aren't fit for print. They informed me that I was ignorant of the policy and that you can be ticketed every 45 minutes that you leave your car in the space.
My explanation that the five dollars I was already paying on the first ticket covered the next few hours drew blank stares, as did my question of why I wasn't ticketed four times by that same logic.
I asked why the meters only went to 45 minutes when classes are a minimum of 50 minutes long. Isn't this kind of a set-up? Don't worry, because the truth came out that day. I was told that "the meters aren't for student use but rather for visitors, and the 45-minute limit is specifically to deter students from parking there."
Imagine that. No signs to warn of it, although it probably says so in the pamphlet that none of us read when we receive our 40-dollar commuter lot tags. The biggest shock was coming to the realization that visitors are the preferred occupants of these spaces over the tuition-paying students who actually have class in the buildings. Oh, and I was also told the commuter lots are never filled to capacity. Not even the south one.
Really, they were serious.
As we curse the overzealous parking Nazis perched over the meters like vultures with ticket-printing clipboard in hand, waiting to nail us on the 46th minute, remember that they are just doing their jobs. We are being "deterred."
My tickets were partially due to my own ignorance, partially to a flawed policy. I wouldn't be angry if I had never paid the meter, but that three minutes turned into ten dollars.
Personally, I would have rather seen a parking garage go up instead of the worthless Shafer Tower.
I'm off to search for a 30-minute class.