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DPS Points to Weather, Parking Shortage as Reasons for Ticket Surge

Winter+weather+has+caused+a+shortage+of+street+parking+in+recent+weeks%2C+leading+to+an+uptick+in+violations+for+unregistered+vehicles+parked+in+campus+lots.
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DPS Points to Weather, Parking Shortage as Reasons for Ticket Surge

Winter weather has caused a shortage of street parking in recent weeks, leading to an uptick in violations for unregistered vehicles parked in campus lots.

Winter weather has caused a shortage of street parking in recent weeks, leading to an uptick in violations for unregistered vehicles parked in campus lots.

Photo Courtesy of Carl Socolow '77

Winter weather has caused a shortage of street parking in recent weeks, leading to an uptick in violations for unregistered vehicles parked in campus lots.

Photo Courtesy of Carl Socolow '77

Photo Courtesy of Carl Socolow '77

Winter weather has caused a shortage of street parking in recent weeks, leading to an uptick in violations for unregistered vehicles parked in campus lots.

Jules Struck ’19, Associate Managing Editor

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The Department of Public Safety (DPS) reported that they have issued parking tickets at a higher rate than normal in recent months, which they said is the result of winter storms exacerbating an already low supply of parking.

Every student and employee who wants to park a car on campus must register with DPS to obtain a decal for his or her vehicle, though Dee Danser, chief of Public Safety, said, “this does not guarantee on-campus parking.” Any car that is parked in a campus lot and does not have a decal is in violation of college parking rules.

Danser attributes the rise in parking violations to “the domino effect” of inclement weather forcing drivers out of street parking and into college lots.

“Many students and employees have for years never bothered to get a decal because they park on the city street or the borough road,” Danser said. “When [street parking] wasn’t an option because of the snow, people then started parking in the lots.”

“We got many complaints from students and employees who said, ‘there are all these cars in the way in the lots that don’t have decals,’” Danser continued. Once DPS receives those complaints, Danser said they investigate the parking area and ticket parking violators.

“Generally when you’re seeing a lot of enforcement of the parking, it’s because of complaints,” said Danser.

Patrol Officer John Haggerty noted that parking violations correlate with weather events.

“If you’re looking at [the frequency of] parking complaints in general [they increase on] rainy days… really cold days, or Mondays,” Haggerty said. “Human nature definitely plays into this.”

According to Danser, there are approximately 1,280 parking spaces on campus, not including spaces reserved for service vehicles, businesses or visitors.

“Students have access to approximately 790 of these spaces Monday through Friday during regular business hours, and 985 spaces after hours and on weekends,” Danser said.

There are currently approximately 770 registered student vehicles on campus. Parking violation tickets are $25, and all revenues go into Dickinson’s general fund. Danser said the college set the fees several years ago.

Without special permission from DPS, first years are not allowed to have a car on campus.

“It seemed a bit more [first years have illegally parked] this year but that’s probably based on the size of the class,” said Danser. “The reason the policy is like that is there’s not a whole lot of parking here.”

“I hear a lot of students say we need to have more student parking, well we need to have more parking in general,” reported Danser. “Some of these [parking areas] might not be the most convenient, some of these are up by the Durden center… So part of the problem is not so much that there’s no parking, it’s that there’s no convenient parking… The rest of the parking areas, that’s tough competition not just for students but for employees.”

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DPS Points to Weather, Parking Shortage as Reasons for Ticket Surge