Parking woes

The ups and downs of making your way around campus and finding a place to park

Amber Thomas, Columnist

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Walk up to any student on the University of Toledo’s campus and you can start a conversation with just one word: parking. Anyone and everyone has an opinion about parking passes, lots and the difficulty of finding a decent spot. Ask them if they’ve ever received a parking violation and you’ll never hear the end of it. Parking is a major sore spot among UT’s student population, but not without reason.

I’ve incurred 15 tickets over the course of one semester at UT and let’s not even talk about the semesters prior to that. You are already wearing a mortgage around your neck with all the loans you’ve already taken out. Welcome to the “I am going to be paying off debt for the next 22 years” club. No one wants to pay even more for parking in the wrong location, whether on accident or knowingly.

In my opinion, unless you’re a freshman commuter, having a parking car during your first year of college is completely pointless. Your car can only be parked at Scott Park, which is a good walking distance away. Students can ride the bus to Scott Park to pick up their car, but even then, you can’t park on Main Campus (unless it’s the weekend). Scott Park is securely guarded, but unless you drive home often enough for you to need a car, paying for a $100 parking pass isn’t worth it.

One thing I’m happy my tuition pays for is UT’s transportation services. It has saved me in the harshest of weathers. UT’s buses run Blue and Gold routes on campus, but they also make runs to Scott Park, Walmart, Franklin Park Mall and several apartment complexes. Downloading the app on your phone and figuring out the bus routes will save you from parking hassles. Take it from someone with first-hand experience.

After your freshman year, the commuter life gets a little easier. Parking permits cost $125, unfortunately. That’s just for one semester — don’t be like me and think that will cover the entire year. Make sure you’re ready to fork up another $125 for every semester here, even during the summer if you’ll be taking classes then. Once, I received a ticket for “Failure to register vehicle” because I thought that I was all set after purchasing the first pass and boy, was I wrong.

UT has a very special system for telling you where you can park. Pay close attention to the letter you are assigned after purchasing your pass. The letter dictates where you can and can’t park. “F” is for freshman residential, “K” is for freshman commuters, “D” is for upper class residential, and “C” is for upper class commuter. Administrators, faculty, and other special exceptions can be issued an “A” pass, which is for parking in all lots on campus.

As you navigate your way around campus, you will notice the letters connected to the light posts in parking lots. A handy tip I learned is that yellow parking spots are for A passes and white lines are for everybody else. If you park in a parking lot where your pass isn’t allowed, you are in danger of getting a ticket.

If you really don’t like following the rules, you be a rebel like myself who parks anywhere because I hate walking long distances. Unfortunately, due to this lethargic attitude, I’ve received several parking violations, including ones that say “Failure to observe posted parking restrictions” for $30 and “Failure to register vehicle” for $50. Parking violations will be sent to your UT email address.

Lucky for you and I, UT allows us to appeal out tickets. The appealing process had become my best friend. When you get a ticket, a reminder will come to your email and near the end is the option to appeal. Whether you feel like the ticket was unjust or you just can’t deal with paying for all these tickets, appealing is the way to go.

After all, who wants to pay $80 to UT when you can appeal a ticket and use that money to treat yourself to mani-pedi and still have some left over to go to Auntie Ann’s and get an almond crunch pretzel with cream cheese on the side.

Parking on campus can suck at times, but if you know how to navigate it the right way, you hopefully won’t end up like me with 15 tickets in my second year and more to come in the future.

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Parking woes