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Monday, November 19, 2018

Campus

Zone Parking, increased enforcement kicks off Aug. 20


The different parking zones at the University. Zone parking will begin at the start of the fall semester and there will no longer be free visitor parking at the University.  | Michael Slaten/The Cougar

Zone parking will begin with the fall semester. New parking enforcement efforts will include license plate checks, monitored lots during the first week of classes, and a reduction in parking opportunities for people without permits. | Michael Slaten/The Cougar

Zone Parking, in addition to stricter enforcement of license plates and evening and weekend parking, is set to begin the first day of the semester.

With the purchase of a student parking permit, which became available through the parking portal this spring, students are required to pick from one of six zones (labeled A-F). Remote campus, garage and motorcycle permits will not be zoned.

“Anyone parking without a permit for that specific zone is subject to not only a ticket but a tow as well,” said Bob Browand, director of UH Parking and Transportation Services.

In the past, drivers parked incorrectly in a student lot received a ticket for the first offense.

According to Parking and Transportation Services, Zone Parking is intended to redistribute traffic from heavily used parking lots throughout campus, so students are more likely to be able to find a spot consistently in the same lot.

This summer, UH parking began using license plate enforcement, which involves scanning license plates throughout the parking lots to ensure they’re parked in the correct area and with the appropriate permit.

“We are transitioning to license plate recognition to increase the efficiency of enforcement and further reduce the likelihood that someone without a permit can park and not get caught,” Brownard said. “Keep in mind that although we”ll be using license plates for enforcement, properly displayed permits are still required at all times”.

An email sent out by Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts Dean Andrew Davis announced that all evening and weekend visitor parking on campus, including evening and weekend parking for arts and cultural events, will convert to paid parking.

Visitors to campus will pay $5 in cash or with a credit card to a parking attendant stationed at lots throughout campus.

“Clearly this is not ideal for our patrons, but the change is necessary in our dynamic and rapidly changing campus environment,” Davis said in the email

Political science senior Raihan Siddiqui believes that the leeway that students were offered after 5 p.m. and on the weekends made PTS’s prices and systems more tolerable. He said it is ridiculous that parking enforcement has been cracking down on ticketing in the summer when there are plenty of parking spots available.

“The fact that they went out of their way to purchase license plate scanners might be a positive during busy hours when people with permits need highly sought after spots,” Siddiqui said. “But, using them when space isn’t an issue seems almost petty. I really hope they choose to ease up and shows students some courtesy and mercy.”

Between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, only people with the appropriate permit will be allowed to park in their chosen zone.

“We are increasing the shuttle service to accommodate the zone parking program, and this will mean two new routes that will circulate campus. Next year students will find that they can show up to their zone, park and get to class more quickly and efficiently,” Browand said.

After 4 p.m. during weekdays and throughout the weekends, anyone with a parking permit can park in any zone or student lot, along with any faculty and staff non-gated lot on campus.

“Permits are required at all times to park on campus, even the first day of class,” Browand said.

PTS will have representatives at the entrances of all parking lots during the first week of classes to ensure no one parks in the wrong zone and also guarantee that everyone can locate their correct parking location.

Permit costs will continue to rise as PTS takes on more debt to build to a total of eight garages on campus, according to a PTS budget from spring.

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