Students who drive to class are familiar with the permits, citations and frustrations that come with parking on campus.
UT parking and Transportation Services manages nearly 16,000 parking spaces on campus, including 12 parking garages and more than 50 surface parking lots, said Melissa Loe, director of communications for Financial and Administrative Services. Students can submit appeals for parking citations they believe were an error within 12 days of receiving it.
“PTS issues citations when University rules and regulations for parking and traffic are not followed,” Loe said in an email.
Loe said the most common citation issued is when someone parks on campus without a permit or parks outside of their permitted area.
According to the PTS website, the fine for parking without a permit is $35. Loe said from September 2018 to July 2019, approximately 11,000 citations were issued for parking without a permit. Other common citations included unauthorized parking in “AT ALL TIMES” spaces, which are restricted 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and backing into an angled parking space.
Samantha Miles, a communications and leadership sophomore, said she received a citation for placing a new permit on top of an old one.
“Last fall, they made this new D permit, and I had a C before,” Miles said. “They let me trade in the pass for free, but I just put the D permit on top of the C permit. The fact you could still see the C permit was the reason, even though you can’t see the numbers at all.”
Loe said people should park where their permits allow and read signs prior to parking to ensure it is an appropriate spot.
Miles said she also received a citation for parking in a handicapped spot with a handicapped permit provided by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles but with no permit provided by the University. Loe said signage on Americans with Disabilities Act surface spaces note they require UT permits and ADA placards until 5:45 p.m. on weekdays.
Computer science sophomore Cyrus Mahdavi said he received a $35 ticket for being parked in a loading zone near Moore-Hill Residence Hall after his car battery died.
“I was aware I was committing a violation as they require you to have your hazards on in loading zones, but my car’s battery was completely drained, so it couldn’t even have the hazards on,” Mahdavi said.
Mahdavi said he left a note stating what had happened before going to class and came back to find a ticket. Mahdavi said he submitted an appeal, but it was declined.
“I think my case was PTS just being unforgiving and terrible,” Mahdavi said. “I think they should be more forgiving of circumstances outside of the student’s control.”
Loe said most citations are written in surface lots rather than garages because surface lots are closer to campus buildings. The majority of surface lot citations are written along the San Jacinto corridor because most of the surface parking is in that area, and it’s the closest to the main part of campus.
“Anyone receiving a citation they believe was issued erroneously should follow the appeal guidance provided on the citation,” Loe said.