Editor’s Note: This piece was written by Evan Moscaritolo of Professor John-Erik Koslosky’s Newswriting course and was edited by Micah Richards of Koslosky’s Editing for Journalism course.
BLOOMSBURG – If you park on campus regularly, the chances are you have been issued at least one parking ticket. According to estimates made by Tom Phillips, the Director of Police at Bloomsburg University, officers issued an average of “200 [tickets] weekly during the Spring and Fall semesters of 2016.” This would bring the total number of tickets issued in 2016 to be around 9,765.
While some people may assume that parking tickets often go unpaid, Phillips tells a different story. The reality is in 2016, “81% of citations issued were paid,” he said. With simple calculations of $15 per ticket (not factoring in handicap or fire lane tickets,) multiplied by 81% of 9,765 tickets, an estimated $120,000 was generated by parking ticket revenue in 2016.
Students were surprised by the high volume of parking tickets issued on campus. Reed Lehman and Kendal Thompson, two senior Audio Recording majors, estimated 50-60 per week or 2,000 per year. They were even more shocked to find out that most of the tickets are paid.
So where does all this money go? Phillips said this money goes back into repairing parking lots and spaces all over campus, however he would not provide specifics.
Parking illegally on campus could cost you a lot more than citations. Three or more unpaid tickets will result in getting your car being “booted” or towed, both of which c arry hefty fines. A “a person who violates the parking policy by continuing to park on campus after their parking privileges are suspended, may be charged with trespassing.”
At this point, you may be wondering what you can do to avoid getting a ticket on campus. Obviously, you should avoid parking in faculty or reserved spots, and always check for signs indicating which color permit should be displayed on your vehicle. If you want to avoid paying for a parking permit, you can try your luck at metered spots but they are few and far between. There’s one row in front of the Recreation Center, another next to Andruss library, and a lot next to Elwell Hall. Open parking on campus is allowed from 5:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. from Monday through Thursday, and Friday at 5:00 p.m. until 2 :00 a.m. on Monday.