Nearly $1 million accumulated from parking tickets last school year

January 22, 2015

It’s difficult to miss a yellow envelope protruding from your windshield wiper. At first, it’s hard to believe that they got you, but in the 2013-14 school year, 7,535 parking citations were handed out, which is down from 8,808 citations given in the 2012-13 school year.

Altogether, the combination of citations and parking permits accumulated $981,766.48 in the 2013-14 school year.
“I hate getting parking tickets,” Sean Fogo, 24, said. “It’s kind of like ‘what the hell, man? I’ve been here for just an hour.’”
Fogo, like many other Central students, has fallen under the net that is parking tickets. Parking Services uses three rotating parking permit officers to enforce parking code throughout the 25 parking lots offered at Central.
“I think parking tickets are fair. It’s their property and [Central] should be able to do what they want,” student Jessica Datz, 22, said.
There are three ways to pay for a parking ticket.
Students can pay in person for their tickets at the cashier’s office, on the bottom floor of Barge Hall, or at the Parking Services offices. Students can also mail in their payments.
“I hate walking in there and paying for a ticket,” Fogo said. “I know the $15 isn’t a lot, but at the same time I could be buying beer with it.”

Helping the Student Body
Out of the estimated 10,000 students attending Central, 3,275 of them bought parking passes. Citations alone brought in $268,675.37. All the money goes toward paying day-to-day costs, salaries, upkeep and advancements in parking services.
Parking Services has added some new elements to help with parking. Some of the biggest concerns are the congested roadways during peak class hours, crowded lots and convenience.
Money collected from parking tickets and parking passes goes toward alleviating these pains. In 2013-14 permits brought in $713,091.11.
“Everyone wants to park right in front of their class everyday,” Jason Berthon-Koch, captain of University Police said. “Students want to just drive up and not walk very far.”
There have been complaints that there is not enough parking on campus, according to Berthon-Koch.
“Believe me, there is enough parking,” Berthon-Koch said. “There just isn’t a lot of convenient parking. I’m talking about those spots right in front of your hall.”
Berthon-Koch said that Central is looking to become a walking campus.
Parking lots are in strategic places for students to park and walk to classes.
“If they park and walk to class, it will limit the amount of traffic that occurs when a student gets out of class, and instead of taking a ten minute walk to his or her next class, they drive across campus,” Berthon-Koch said. “Now imagine if 100 people did that, or 500.”
Parking Services has also added daily parking permit machines to the entrances of popular lots. The station allows drivers to purchase daily passes for precise amounts of time.
The machines, which cost $14,000 apiece, are well on their way toward paying for themselves. In the 2013-14 school year, the permit dispensers brought in $77,220.22.
“I don’t live in Ellensburg and only need to be on campus twice a week,” Dustin Hoytt, 19, said. “I didn’t want to spend the one-hundred-plus dollars for a quarterly parking pass, this [permit machine] saves me a lot of money.”
Berthon-Koch applauds the changes that have been made but he is constantly looking to make the experience easier for all.
“We have started to move toward a more online department,” Berthon-Koch said. “We believe that having the ability to pay for a permit or obtain guest permits online will assist the user in not getting parking citations.”
Zone changes in the SURC have now restricted dorm residents from parking overnight in one of the most popular lots on campus.
“We have improved the disabled parking in and around the Bassetties, as well as added L.E.D lights to the turnarounds in front of Davies and Hitchcock Halls to improve student safety,” Berthon-Koch said. “The CWU police officers have increased patrolling the parking lots more frequently, especially at night, to deter vehicle prowl and thefts.”
Tickets must be paid within a 28-day window or the original $15 charge doubles and a $5 administration fee is added to the total.
If the fine isn’t paid within an appropriate time frame, the charge will be sent to student accounts to await payment. If no action is taken, a collection letter will be sent to the student.
“Our goal is that everyone purchases the correct pass,” Berthon-Koch said. “Then we don’t have to issue citations.”

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