Parking tickets money put to good use

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Skyline students pay off their parking tickets and then forget them, never really knowing what their money is being used for.

According to the Chief of Public Safety, Cherie Colin, the money from parking tickets at Skyline College definitely goes to good use.

“The funds are directed toward ensuring our campus parking lots and roadways remain in safe and adequate condition,” said Colin. “There is no profit; the parking lot fund operates at a deficit in order to properly maintain parking lots.”

Skyline College gives its students a two week grace period at the start of each semester, with a one week grace period during the summer. This gives students time to save up the money for a parking permit if they are going to be driving to school frequently. Once that grace period is over, students are expected to have a parking permit or pay per day.

The parking permits cost $51 per semester and can be swapped between multiple cars. But it is cheaper to buy the fall and spring permit for $94 and $26 for the summer permit. Some prefer paying daily, which is $2, while others regularly test their luck with the tickets.

“Last semester I didn’t buy a parking permit and parked there every day and never got a ticket,” Skyline student Martin Lopez said. “But the last three weeks of school I got three parking tickets. It would have been cheaper to just buy the parking permit.”

The parking tickets’ prices vary, depending on how serious the violation is. For instance, a student parking in a disabled parking spot with no disabled placard would pay more than a student who did not pay the daily cost for parking in a regular parking spot.

These parking tickets at Skyline are no different than a ticket a person would get from a police officer off campus. They need to be paid on time and consequences will follow if they are not.

Parking lot D is the visitor parking lot, which is reserved for visitors and guests to Skyline College. Students and staff are not to park in visitors’ parking lots D and M. And even the visitor has to pay a parking fee of $0.25 for every 15 minutes.

Skyline student Belinda Villahermosa parked in parking lot D and received a ticket. She didn’t think that she would get caught because it was late in the afternoon. She had a parking permit but had left it in her other car, so she decided to take a chance.

“It was my first semester at Skyline and I was late to class,” said Villahermosa. “Lot D was the closest parking lot to my class in Building 2. So I parked in the visitor’s lot, and then I get out of class and find a ticket on my car. It was like $40.”

“Often, citations are issued with an officer’s best judgment and discretion,” Colin said. “Spirit rather than letter of the law is the approach taken by public safety at Skyline College.”

The cost for a parking permit can be on the pricey side, but the cost of two parking tickets is almost equivalent to buying a fall/spring permit. Regardless of what method students choose to do, whether it be paying for a permit, paying daily, or taking a risk, everyone can agree that they wish parking could just be free.

Making parking free would actually make things more difficult for students. Unregulated parking would allow anyone to park in Skyline’s parking lot. This would result in overcrowding. More people would drive to school and it would be even harder to find parking in the morning.