By Ellin Youse, Transcript Correspondent
In response to student upset over a lack of short-term parking, Wesleyan Counsel on Student Affairs and Public Safety will be installing three parking meters in attempt to prevent ticketing.
The parking meters will be located in the parking lots outside of Hamilton Williams, Welch/Thomson Store and Smith Hall. The designated parking spots will be placed close to the entrances of each building, and for a quarter students will be allotted a fifteen-minute time slot.
Freshman Lauren Holler, WCSA representative and chairman of the WCSA Residential Affairs Committee, said the meters are to provide students with a convenient space for quick, in-and-out parking.
“Our committee and Public Safety want to reduce the number of tickets students receive for parking in the wrong permit zone while running into their dorm or a building,” Holler said. “For example, if a freshman with a C permit quickly parks in Welch because he forgot a textbook in his Thomson dorm, he might come back out to his car to find a $25 ticket for parking in the wrong zone.”
Sophomore Tim O’Keefe, a chairman for WCSA’s Residential Affairs Committee, said although parking is a general complaint from students, the extreme student outcry over the high price of parking tickets inspired the project.
“The (parking) meters are really the only solution we saw for the ticketing problem,” O’Keefe said. “Students who need to get in-and-out will park in, say, a fire lane for ten minutes and get a $40 ticket from Public Safety. We need to make it easier for students to get from place to place without getting ticketed.”
Students who park in a lot they are not permitted to park in can receive a $25 ticket while students who park in handicap spots or fire lanes can be fined up to $40.
Officer Bob Wood, Head of Public Safety, said the parking meters were the best way to provide students with convenient parking and enforce short-term parking.
When brainstorming solutions to the parking situation, Wood said he and the Residential Affairs Committee debated between two options to alleviate student ticketing.
One option being the parking meters and another being a “Ten-Minute Parking Only” sign.
Wood said the meters were the preferable option as a sign would allow students to occupy the short-term spaces for longer periods of time, but would be difficult for Public Safety to enforce.
“We are constantly trying to improve parking conditions for students,” Wood said. “The parking meter proposal is the best method of both providing students with convenient parking and allowing us to enforce those spots stay open and fluctuating.”
All money collected from the meters will be directly deposited into the Student Activity Fund.
This fund benefits student organizations and clubs.
The committee is installing three parking meters because the project is currently on a trial basis.
Depending on the success of the meters, more meters will be installed in various lots around campus.
“I personally believe it is a win-win situation,” Holler said.
“I know I would rather pay a quarter than chance a $25 ticket, and it is nice to know that quarter just goes back to benefitting me and the rest of the student body.”