Parking tickets: Getting fines dismissed ‘could be’ likely

Things have changed where parking tickets are concerned at UAA.

As a result, students, confused by the ever-changing standards of enforcement, could be likely to get their $25 parking tickets dismissed, said director of parking services Bob McDonnell.

“If it’s a first-time offense, it could be – could be – dismissed or lowered to $6 if it’s the first offense. If somebody parks in a handicap spot, it’s not going to get dismissed,” said McDonnell, who started working as the director of parking services this summer. “But if you think you’re going to get a ticket, you’re going to get a ticket.”

Since enforcement began Sept. 4, after one week of class, students have been coming to McDonnell’s office with complaints, he said. The grace period to park on campus without a permit was cut in half from two full weeks of class to one week and a three-day weekend.

The parking enforcement notification campaign used to include fliers on windshields, but this year notification was made with 10,000 mailed-out brochures, online at ThePermitStore and UAA Parking Services, and on the lighted sign at the corner of UAA and Providence drives, he said.

Students who got parking tickets after being told the enforcement date was after Sept. 4 have blamed the bookstore in three separate cases, he said.

Donna Bozeman, cashiering supervisor at the UAA Bookstore, said she encourages students to contact Parking Services when they ask about enforcement.

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“We were told it was Sept. 5,” she said. That date is one day after enforcement began.

If people are getting misinformation from the bookstore, she said, she wants to know so they can work with Parking Services – which now shares the same building – to correct it.

McDonnell noted that he has a history of getting parking tickets where his daughter attends classes at George Mason University. He was able to get one of his recent parking tickets dismissed, he said, and wants to treat people parking their cars at UAA the way he expects to be treated when an honest mistake is made.

Aaron Tenge, a senior majoring in aviation management, said he’s had several parking tickets at UAA while he was purchasing a ticket online at parking services last week. That was six days after enforcement began.

“I was trying to play the parking game the first couple weeks of class without getting a ticket,” he said, adding he hadn’t realized you could get a temporary permit online while waiting for ThePermitStore to send the official one in the mail.

He appreciates the way the system is currently set up, Tenge said.

“I like it. It reduces the clutter,” he said. “For busy folk like myself, it’s nice.”

But he thinks the system is hard for freshmen to adjust too, he noted, because there is no obvious disclaimer online about the temporary permit or when parking enforcement began this year.

“I actually got a ticket here last year coming here to get my permit,” he added.

The ticket was dismissed, Tenge said. During other semesters, he got a ticket because his permit was covered and Parking Services couldn’t scan the barcode.

He used his cell phone’s camera to get that one dismissed too, he said.

Solve those parking problems

Parking enforcement is Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

“Don’t procrastinate,” said Bob McDonnell, director of parking services, who was the second person to purchase a parking permit when sales started July 1. “Go and get it ordered right away.”

Get parking permits online in your slippers by visiting ThePermitStore, he said. Pay-and-park machines, the People Mover city buses and Seawolf shuttles all work too.

Students can print temporary permits while theirs comes in the mail online at ThePermitStore; permits range from $65 for an evening-only, single-semester permit to $180 for an annual yellow permit, according to Parking Services.

To request a parking-ticket dismissal, visit www.scapay.com.

Contact Parking Services at 786-1119 or www.uaa.alaska.edu/parking.

Contact Hannah Roerick at 786-1576 or news@thenorthernlight.org.