Only 17 percent of parking tickets were paid in 2010, according to an AU presentation to the D.C. Zoning Commission Nov. 8.
The lack of paid tickets raised concerns among zoning commissioners and neighbors during the Campus Plan approval process; AU students are raising questions about Public Safety’s jurisdiction and its ability to enforce off-campus parking regulations through parking tickets.
Public Safety issued 2,029 tickets in 2010. They include:
• first offense warnings: 43%
• dismissed (non-AU) tickets: 27%
• appeal granted tickets: 3%
• unpaid or unchallenged: 10%
Public Safety’s Terrence Campbell, coordinator of parking and traffic Services, said first time offenders aren’t fined because Public Safety wants to encourage students to buy parking permits.
“We are trying to encourage students to purchase permits, and we will forgive a portion of the tickets if they purchase a permit,” Campbell said in an email.
Unpaid or unchallenged tickets become more expensive as time progresses, Campbell said. After 30 days, the ticket’s fine doubles and notices are delivered to the offending vehicle’s owner.
Ticket fines are given on a graduated scale, with fee amounts increasing with the parking violation’s severity.
A $100 fine is given to people who are “parking on neighborhood streets adjacent to campus as an AU community member or guest,” according to the University website.
Public Safety’s off-campus parking jurisdiction also applies to non-students, according to Campbell. However, residents who aren’t part of the AU community, which Campbell described as students, faculty, staff, visitors and guests, have their tickets dismissed.
Members in the community around AU provide the University with their license plate numbers to have the tickets dismissed, according to Campbell.
“The Good Neighborhood Parking Policy has had a positive impact on our efforts in passing our previous plan” Campbell said. “The program demonstrates our commitment to the neighborhoods surrounding AU to minimize parking problems.”
Amy Lokoff, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, has lived off-campus for two years and has received numerous tickets from Public Safety. While most of her tickets were related to on-campus parking offenses, she recalls that her off-campus ticket was over $100.
Lokoff said she believes the reason why so many students park off-campus is because campus garage rates are expensive.
“People wouldn’t do that if they didn’t feel like they needed to pay an arm and a leg,” she said.
Hanna Kiskaddon, a senior in the School of International Service, said she became so frustrated with the parking regulations that she didn’t bring her car to school this year. Kiskaddon lives in a house off-campus in Tenleytown.
Kiskaddon said that when she had a car, she was still ticketed by Public Safety, despite having a D.C. Zone 3 parking permit.
Kellie Quinn, a junior in the Kogod School of Business, doesn’t believe Public Safety should be ticketing cars off campus.
“They have no right to do that,” she said.