It is not uncommon to see students walking to their cars and finding a bright, orange paper tucked under their windshield wiper.
Dannette Elliot, University Police administrative assistant, said $420,184 worth of parking tickets were paid last semester. Permit sales totaled $2,303,987.
According to the Parking Services’ Web site, about 19 percent of funding came from violation fees last semester. Approximately 80 percent of money paid to parking services came from permit sales.
Stephen Prentice, assistant director of Parking Services, said 3,183 red, 4,481 green, 846 silver and 13,572 purple permits have been sold this fall semester.
Red permits cost faculty and staff $207 a year. Residents who live on campus or in university apartments pay $195 for a green or silver permit. Commuters who park in perimeter spots pay $85 for a purple permit.
“I think the parking permit fees are pretty fair,” said Samantha Cruz, microbiology freshman. “I’ve heard prices compared to other colleges. Even though you won’t have a spot every time, it’s pretty cheap because there are other forms of transportation.”
Prentice said it is not necessary to keep track of how many permits are sold in relation to parking spots available, because there is never a time when every person who purchases a permit is on campus.
Prentice said 319 parking spots were removed because of construction this semester, all of which were green-permit parking. Students are receiving citations for parking in other permit lots as a result.
“I got violations for parking in spots that were free after 5 p.m. or in the red spots because I didn’t move in time,” said Matt Calvin, pre-mass communication sophomore. “It’s hard because I used to work until 12 a.m., and it’s hard to find parking at that time. Parking is bad for people who work.”
Calvin, a resident in Jackson Hall, said finding a parking spot near his dorm is difficult for him and others living in the area since construction commenced this semester.
“Everyone is like vultures,” Calvin said. “They circle around to find spaces to park.”
Prentice said a total of 15,298 tickets were given for parking violations last semester.
Caleb Moseley, one of 13 full-time Parking Services guards, said he writes 30 to 50 tickets a day. He said some common violations are un-permitted vehicles, out-of-zone parking and illegally using handicap spots.
“Most violations come from not having a Texas State parking permit,” Moseley said.
Prentice said the construction will add a 735 all-zone parking lot on Speck Street. Mathews Street will have a new 944 green-zone parking garage with 160 spots designated for red permits.
“There’s not enough convenient green-zone parking,” said Jake Salter, undecided freshman. “There are those new garages up near the Recreation Center, but that’s so far from campus.”
Students are not the only ones who express concerns with Parking Services.
Patricia Ferrer, administrative assistant in the Graduate College, said if Parking Services raises the price of permits she is going to be “expecting a full car wash” while she is at work.
“Overall, I’d like to believe the Parking Service guys do a great job in trying to satisfy everybody,” Ferrer said. “Most of the time, I wish they would remember we red permit people dished out more than $200, and perhaps we should get considered more often (for additional parking).”
The opening of the parking garage on Speck Street is providing students who have green permits with sheltered parking, but Salter said they should be doing more to accommodate lost parking.
“It would be cool if they opened the LBJ garage for Jackson’s parking,” Salter said. “I don’t understand why we have to pay for that, because we have no spaces now.”
However, the Parking Services staff said they will continue with plans to fix future parking problems by adding more garages.