Teresa Crump is a junior at Boise State. She runs a child care facility out of her home while juggling going to school part-time. She has taken both day and evening courses. For her, paying a meter or paying for parking in a lot near the building her class is held in makes sense to her. Sometimes in the winter or during bad weather, she pays for parking in one of the garages.
“Some of my classes don’t get out until 9 or 9:30, and I don’t want to be walking around all over campus,” she said.
On the other hand, her daughter Monique purchased a permit for the Brady Parking Garage and has had a few issues. Crump says her daughter has been angered on game days when the parking garage is full of spectators, even though she has paid well over $300 to park there.
Senior Tyler Abner shares her sentiment. He purchased a permit at Lincoln Parking Garage, and says he was told during one game day that if he did not park on one of the upper tiers, that his vehicle would be towed away.
“The game day spectators pay $10 a day to park there, and I pay 30 to 40 times that amount,” he said. “The ones who pay all of the money get screwed.”
He also said that if he doesn’t arrive by 8:30 in the morning on regular school days, he is left with nothing but parking on the fifth level.
“(The university) isn’t going fast enough to accommodate the rate of growth,” Abner said.
J.C. Porter, Assistant Director of Transportation & Parking, admits that parking is at capacity right now.
“Right now, we have enough parking to accomodate the permit holders on campus,” he said.
To many, parking has become more of an issue this semester. The garages seem to be fuller and stay fuller longer. Porter says part of this is the result of the change the university made this year to the class schedule. 50-minute classes last an hour and fifteen minutes now, and people are staying on campus longer and thus staying parked in the garages longer.
Presently, there are no plans to expand the garages. The cost to put in a single parking space in one of the garages ran $14,000 during most recent construction. In the 10-20 year master plan, all surface parking will be housed in parking garages.
Parking & Transportation tries to spend a great deal of time trying to promote alternative modes of transportation to help students and faculty alike get to campus. It is a lot more economical than trying to expand the garages
The department considers everyone to be a “user of the system”, regardless of whether they are a professor, a student, or a sports fan.
“We don’t look at who you are, just how you are utilizing the space,” Porter said. With that in mind, students and professors alike are subject to receiving parking tickets on campus.
Porter says the reason they issue citations is to help those who have paid for permits, not to generate money for the school. If a student has paid for a parking space, and someone who’s not supposed to be there is taking advantage of that, that’s not fair to the permit holder.
Porter also said that it is not uncommon to issue several citations to the same person in the same semester.
“There’s one person who, since August 1 to now, has received 25 citations. They’ve paid about $400.” A permit costs a little over $300.
Revenue from permits generates $2.1 million for the university, with citations bringing in another $250,000. The number of citations issued by the department per month ranges from 918 to 2,474 with the average being around 1,600. They have seen a steady decline in the number of tickets written the last few years.
Porter says the ticketing process is cyclical. In the fall they issue a lot of warnings, by the middle of the semester people have it figured out, and by finals it gets bad again when students get stressed out and park wherever out of desperation. Citations range in price from $15 to $40.
As for permit holders being turned away during events, the basic rule is first come first serve. If you are a permit holder and show up while an event is underway, and the parking garage is full, you might be turned away. There is no preference for permit holders.