Danger: Park on campus at own risk

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    Due to the change in parking lots and the construction blocking streets on campus, numerous students and community members are receiving parking tickets.According to the TCU Police Department, about 400 parking tickets have been written on campus since Aug. 16.

    TCU Police Chief Steve McGee said money from parking tickets goes back to the university, not to the police department, and that many of the tickets will be dismissed.

    Although several hundred tickets have been issued, McGee said the number isn’t unusual for the beginning of school.

    “It takes us about a week to get everybody reacquainted with the rules,” McGee said.

    He said most of the tickets given were for parking without a permit, and added that if students come into the TCU police station this week and purchase a permit, their tickets will be dismissed. Though he did not have an estimate on how many of the citations will be dismissed, he said the ticket is supposed to serve as a reminder to buy a permit.

    McGee said the construction is creating obstacles for parking and that people are being inconvenienced, but said several hundred spaces have been added since construction began.

    “Most of the parking is now pushed to the outside of campus,” McGee said. “There is parking, but it is different.”

    Despite added parking, students are still adjusting to the changes. Megan Rihani , a resident assistant in the Tom Brown-Pete Wright Residential Community, said she received a $50 parking ticket at 1 a.m. on Aug. 16 for parking in the lot next to the apartments, which is now a visitor parking lot.

    “I parked in a loading zone and was unloading all of my stuff,” said Rihani, a junior nursing major. “I wasn’t going to stay there overnight.”

    Arthur Schmidt , a community member of the University Recreation Center, said he received a $100 ticket Aug. 15 from the city of Fort Worth on Bellaire Drive next to the Rec Center. Schmidt, who has been a member of the Rec Center for two years and often parked on Bellaire Drive by the Rec Center, said the ticket was issued before he was informed of the changes in parking regulations.

    “Everyone parked along the length of the Rec Center got tickets,” Schmidt said. “I didn’t notice the sign change and obviously no one else did either.”

    McGee said he thinks the best thing students can do to avoid citations is to park in their designated lot and ride shuttles to campus.

    Rihani said the main problem with parking on campus is the confusion with different parking signs in each lot and the change in each lot’s purpose.

    “Everything is so unclear on where you should park,” Rihani said, “They’re updating the signs and they’re not telling anybody.”

    Rihani said parking on campus should not be a trial-and-error process and that being ticketed is not fair when signs in front of the parking lots are not updated.

    McGee said TCU Police would rather not write any tickets at all because that would mean that everyone is following the rules.