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Frustrated drivers say parking tickets are unfair

With about 80 to 150 parking tickets distributed on a daily basis, University of Miami students said they are fed up with the university’s police department.

Alanna Buz, a sophomore, parked in one of the meters after 15 minutes of looking for parking with no luck. She said she returned to her car three minutes after the meter had expired and already had a $20 ticket.

“UMPD has no considerations with students,” she said. “We already pay enough for tuition and for the parking permit. The least they could do is have a little leniency when it comes to distributing parking tickets.”

Other students have said that they received a ticket in similar situations.

Camila Martin, a transfer student, is completing her second semester at UM. She said all of her friends have received a ticket since she’s been here.

“I think that it would be difficult to find a student in this school who has not received any parking tickets. I am on my third ticket. It is ridiculous,” she said. “At my previous university, FIU, I never faced a problem of this sort.”

Charges for parking tickets start at a minimum fee of $20. More severe violations may result in a towed vehicle and the removal of the students’ parking decal, which costs no less than $211 per semester.

Madeline Garcia, a junior, said UMPD does not consider that some cars don’t fit in the small parking spaces. She said she drives an SUV and the parking space divisions are too narrow.

“I got a ticket last Thursday for parking right above the white line that marks the parking space,” she said. “I was not even parked in the other person’s parking space and therefore I was not occupying two spaces at once.”

The Parking and Transportation Department said UMPD only distributes tickets when students have committed violations and never undeservingly. Officer Carlos Castillo said that he issues about five to seven tickets daily to students for parking violations.

“Students are always in a rush and they park carelessly,” he said. “They complain about our measures, but if we don’t look after the parking facilities then it would be chaotic.”

Coral Gables police officer Ivan Cabrera, asked while giving a ticket at Doctor’s Hospital, said that most tickets are issued to students who park in undesignated areas and don’t carry their decal.

The UM Police Department said that students can appeal tickets on myUM.

Juliet Chavib may be contacted at y.chavib@umiami.edu.

Sandra L. Redway, the Director of Business Services, said that about 80 to 150 tickets are issued daily.

Last year 8,466 tickets were appealed and 56 percent were granted.

Most parking violations were committed in the Allan Hall Whitten Learning Center lot (209), and that a possible solution is parking at the Ponce Garage and taking the shuttle.

April 17, 2008

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.