Permit prices to hike

Lauren Frankovich

If you plan to park on campus next year, start saving money for your parking pass now because Parking Services wants to raise the price of parking permits and ticket fines.

If the Board of Trustees approves the proposal next week, in the fall, most permit prices for a semester will increase by $10 and permit prices for a year will increase by $20, said Randy Ristow, manager at Parking Services. Evening and weekend permit prices, summer permit prices and Allerton apartment complex permit prices will not increase, Ristow said.

Starting Fall 2006, most permit prices for a semester will increase again by $5 and permit prices for a year will increase by $10, Ristow said.

Leah Brady, freshman dance performance major, has to pay for her parking permit, and disagrees with the proposed price increase. “It sucks,” she said. “What college student has that extra money laying around?”

Ristow said money from parking permits goes toward the cost of lot maintenance, lot expansion and snow removal. Parking Services is in debt from construction projects, and the money received from the permit increase will help pay off the debt. “All of the money goes back to Parking Services in some way,” he said.

John Peach, director of public safety, said “the expense of maintaining parking lots continues to grow.” Kent State can’t rely on state funds to maintain lots, so they have increase user fees, he said.

David Creamer, vice president for administration, said snow removal costs were high the last two years, and there was a lot of damage in the lots. High oil prices also have an affect on parking maintenance because oil is the base for asphalt, he said.

Ristow said ticket fines will also increase by as little as $5 and as much as $15 fall semester. “It’s obvious the $10 and $20 fines weren’t doing the job,” he said.

Peach said parking f ines for offenders will be increased to encourage students to park in their assigned lot.

Ristow said offenders who have more than 11 tickets are labeled as frequent violators and can have their car towed if they park in violation. Parking Services wants to reduce the number to nine. “We want to stop multiple offenders,” he said.

Brady said she doesn’t think reducing the number of tickets will stop frequent violators. “It’s not going to change where people park. It’s just going to piss people off,” she said.

Offenders are charged a late fee if tickets aren’t paid within five days, but Parking Services wants to increase this to seven days, Ristow said.

Parking Services met with Creamer and Peach to discuss the price increase for parking permits. A final decision on permit prices will be made April 20 at the Board of Trustees meeting.

Contact transportation reporter Lauren Frankovich at [email protected].