I am concerned about the campus parking enforcement occurring on nights and weekends. Over the last six months or so, the parking permit machines around campus have consistently failed to dispense night and weekend permits for students. As I am sure you know, each quarter UCSB undergraduates pay a lock-in fee to ensure that we receive these permits at no additional cost.
When the parking machines fail to distribute permits, this leaves us in a predicament. Do we park our vehicles anyway, and hope not to be cited? I have personally tried this option, while taking the additional measure of leaving a note explaining the situation on my dashboard, along with my Access card and the current quarter’s registration sticker. When I returned to my car later that evening, I had a $40 citation waiting for me.
This is absolutely outrageous. We have already paid for the permits; Transportation and Parking Services has failed to give them to us. After I went through the online appeals process for my citation, the response was that I should have gone to trailer 381 to obtain a permit from TPS. Typical bureaucratic response; if I am trying to obtain a permit when I park after 5pm, TPS will be closed. I verified this by visiting trailer 381 only to find it empty. I have repeated this cycle of parking, visiting malfunctioning machines, receiving a citation and appealing several times.
TPS is holding our permits, and our money, hostage in a ridiculous system of monthly permits that must be reacquired because an arbitrary period has passed. Instead of 30 days, night and weekend permits should be valid for the entire quarter, just like day-use permits. We pay by the quarter; our permits should last just as long. Parking machines should be fixed immediately so that night and weekend commuters don’t have to go through this hassle of broken machines, ludicrous citations and lengthy appeal processes.
If the current administration at Transportation and Parking Services cannot handle these essential tasks, they should be replaced with people who can.
Alex Parsons is a senior computer science major.