Parking Services — more than ticket, tow

Valerie Maczak

Credit: Beth Rankin

“I’ve got the golden ticket!” Charlie Bucket screams after finding an invitation to a wondrous chocolate factory.

Parking Services gives golden tickets too, but students may scream something else upon receiving them.

New students need not waste money or expletives by paying parking or towing fines if they follow the guidelines given by Parking Services, said Larry Emling, assistant manager of Parking Services.

Incoming freshmen living on campus are only eligible for stadium permits, Emling said. Commuting freshmen may purchase either a Summit East or Allerton Sports Complex permit.

Many of the commuter (known as “C” lots) and restricted (known as “R” lots) parking areas allow students with any valid permit to park there in the evenings Monday through Thursdays and from 2 p.m. Fridays to 11 p.m. Sundays.

“There are variables, but you only need to know the regulations for your parking permit,” Emling said. “Just figure out where you are allowed to be and don’t waste time trying to beat the system.”

Parking Services attendants had a little break over the summer semester and will be ready and rested to begin ticketing heavily for the fall, Emling said.

“Attendants ticket the first day of classes; there is no warning,” Emling said. “We have attendants on duty from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., and the Kent State University police monitor our lots overnight. We continue to enforce critical areas during the weekend and in bad weather, particularly near the residence halls.”

If students park out of their designated areas, attendants may place red, pink or green tags on the vehicle’s window if it is a severe violation, Emling said. Attendants also have plenty of golden tickets to give out.

“This year we raised the parking fines significantly to encourage students and staff to park in their assigned lots,” Emling said.

If students have one or two tickets, the fine is $15 per ticket, said Vanessa Freeman, office manager of Parking Services. Students with three to eight tickets will pay $35. Fines for students with nine or more tickets are $50 a ticket.

If tickets are unpaid for more than five days, Parking Services adds a $5 late fee, Freeman said. Students should be aware that fines increase throughout the academic year regardless of ticket payment. Parking Services only erases ticket records at the start of each fall semester, Freeman said.

“Students can contest tickets within seven calendar days of the issuance via the Parking Services’ Web site or in person at our office,” Freeman said.

Parking Services will accept payment for tickets by mail, in the red courtesy boxes located throughout campus, through its Web site or at its office, Freeman said.

Unpaid tickets may cause Parking Services to tow vehicles, as can frequent fines, parking in closed lots, illegal parking, parking while under suspension or displaying a lost, stolen, altered or counterfeit permit, Freeman said.

“If you think your car has been towed, call the Parking Services office immediately. We keep daily records of vehicle removals,” Emling said.

Parking Services does more than ticket and tow. It also provides motorist and safety assistance.

“We maintain 37 blue courtesy phones on campus, and we offer motorist assistance to students and staff with valid permits,” Emling said. Battery jump starts, vehicle unlocks, gas transports and tire inflation are a few of the services offered from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays.

Students should report disabled vehicles to Parking Services, Emling said.

“We’ll give you reasonable time to move the car, and we’re even glad to help,” Emling said. “But, if you don’t give us a chance to verify the car won’t start, we will continue to ticket and we may not void them if you don’t contact us.”

Students also need to remember that all campus visitors need parking permits or they risk receiving tickets, Vanessa Freeman said.

Evening and weekend guest passes are free, and all residence hall area desks have them readily available, Freeman said. Daytime visitors may purchase one-day passes for $2 at the Parking Services office or use the 30-minute, 2-hour or 4-hour parking meters located near residence halls and academic buildings, Freeman said. Visitors may also use the pay lot in front of the Student Center.

Should students decide not to return for the spring semester, Parking Services will refund a portion of their permit fee.

“Under no circumstances should students sell, share or give away a parking permit. We will reimburse them for the unused portion,” Freeman said.

“It’s important that students come to us directly with questions,” Emling said. “Resident advisers, professors or classmates may want to help, but they can give students the wrong answers.”

Parking Services is located in room 123 of the Michael Schwartz Center. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and students may access its Web site at Call Parking Services at (330) 672-4432 or motorist assistance at (330) 672-4444.

Contact building, grounds and transportation reporter Valerie Maczak at [email protected].