Ever noticed one of those cars on campus with a never-ending stack of parking tickets splashed across its windshield? Maybe this car has even been yours at some point! Well it looks like the jig is up for habitual offenders because parking enforcement at Montana Tech is about to get a lot stricter.
The Montana Tech parking policy already states that students with unpaid parking citations will not be allowed to re-enroll for future semesters or obtain transcripts. However, in addition to these penalties, Montana Tech also reserves the right to immobilize or tow vehicles of habitual parking offenders.
Effective immediately, students with 3 or more parking tickets will receive sticker notices of parking violations. The notices are to prepare for the stricter enforcement that is about to take place in January. At the start of the spring semester, Montana Tech will begin to use parking boots to immobilize repeat offender vehicles. In order to reclaim functionality of the vehicle, the offender will be responsible for paying to have the parking boot removed, as well as paying for any existing parking fees they have incurred. Offenders are also responsible for any damage made to the parking boot that may occur from attempted drive offs or removal. The stricter enforcement of the parking policy will apply to both students and employees of Montana Tech.
Enforcement in January will also take into account unpaid tickets and violations from previous semesters, so if you currently have unresolved parking citations, now would be a good time to take care of them. And if you haven’t purchased a parking decal, you can still do so in the physical plant office. Decals for the full year (fall-spring) are $55.00. Parking tickets are $20.00 per citation this year.
“What students who have not purchased parking decals are essentially doing is taking away a parking space from someone who has paid for one, and this isn’t fair” said Maggie Peterson, Vice Chancellor of Administration and Finance. Maggie along with Art Anderson, Director of Montana Tech’s Physical Plant, are getting serious about habitual parking offenders. “There isn’t a policy change occurring, these rules have already been in place. There are just too many chronic parking offenders on campus who are causing the stricter enforcement.” said Maggie.
Many students often complain about the inadequate parking at Montana Tech and the proximity of parking to classrooms. In comparison to larger campuses such as the University of Montana, Montana Tech has relatively proximate parking and an abundance of it. Another advantage of parking at Montana Tech is that decal fees are also relatively lower than those at larger universities.
As an alternative form of transportation, Montana Tech also offers students free city bus rides between campus student housing, the north campus, and the College of Technology. Pick up’s on the north campus are in front of the SUB and the Natural Resources Building. Tech students also have free access to city bus routes even if they are not using the busses to get to class or between campuses.
With winter rapidly approaching be sure to pay close attention to where you park because you may pose a safety hazard to other vehicles or your own. Snow cover can often make hatched areas and no parking zones invisible. “This is when most accidents on campus occur because students are parking in dangerous areas that they cannot see.” said Art Anderson. So be sure to check your parking job as tickets can still be issued for vehicles parking in snow-covered areas.
Some parking tips that Maggie and Art offer for students are:
1. Arrive early to give yourself enough time to find a parking space and make it to class
2. Purchase a decal at the beginning of the year (or semester that you start) to avoid parking tickets
3. Don’t park in visitor parking, as these areas are for visitors only, and they are among the most heavily monitored for tickets
4. Take advantage of the city bus or walk to campus if you live close enough
5. Pay close attention to areas that are cross hatched in the winter time, as snow cover can often cause these potentially dangerous areas to be unseen