K-State Parking Operations Council holds open forum

Vehicles fill the parking lot between Ackert Hall and the Engineering Complex on April 2, 2015. (File Photo by Parker Robb | The Collegian)

In an attempt to make campus parking rules and regulations more clear and concise, the Parking Operations Council held an open forum to discuss parking regulation change.

On Thursday, the council discussed parking regulation changes with about 35 people — mostly Kansas State faculty — present. The council addressed questions and concerns regarding the changes in the parking regulations.

One rule discussed included parking citations and how it is the responsibility of whomever is the permit holder, regardless of who was driving the vehicle.

Visitor parking was also discussed, as many times visitors do not know they need a permit to park on campus and can find themselves with a parking citation. Visitors are given two chances in a calendar year to send their “no valid permit/authorization” citation to parking services, where the initial fee of $50 is lowered to the normal day permit fee of only $5. The two-time limit is in response to people claiming they are visitors and abusing the system.

Gene Barnes, the recorder for the Parking Operations Council, said the goal of having the annual meeting was to talk over potential changes to the regulations and identify the problems based on incidents that have occurred throughout the year. Once the council decides what the real issues are, they present those to upper leadership who then determine whether or not to take action on these changes.

One of the changes under consideration is clarifying the wording of some parking rules. Rule II. G. 1.a will now read “an owner of a permit that is valid but not displayed or not displayed properly may be given a reduced penalty when parked legally otherwise.”

“I feel these changes are needed because something occurred that made us want to clarify things,” Barnes said.

John Wolf, parking council representative, also mentioned that clarity was a reason for these changes.

“We wanted this to be more uniform,” Wolf said. “Basically just to clear them up a little more, we know this has been going on. (These changes) are just so people know this is out there. People did not realize they could have only had to pay a lower amount.”

This issue of lack of clarity is something that Ellie Nicholson, junior in hospitality management, knows all too well. At the start of the semester, Nicholson went to her car that was parked in one of the residential hall’s student parking lots to find a yellow tag stuck to her windshield. Shocked, she saw it was for lack of a parking permit, as her permit had fallen from her rear view mirror and was under her seat.

“I was so worried,” Nicholson said. “I did not know what to do, so I just figured I would go talk to the Parking Services on campus to try and sort this out. I have a permit; I had been parking there the whole year. It was just an accident.”

When Nicholson got to Parking Services, located in the parking garage, she walked out the building only having to pay $5.

“I am so glad I just decided to go,” Nicholson said. “Having to pay $50 would have been ridiculous. Not to mention my parents would not have been too thrilled either.”

The updated rules and regulations also state that K-State parking permits do not apply to parking meters. The rules of free parking on weekends do not apply when parked at meters.

None of these changes will equate to a change in price for parking permits. There will be no increase in the price of permits next year.