Every student dreads the day when they wake up late and have to park in a lot they don’t have a pass for. They spend a long day in class only to come out and find a yellow slip under their windshield wiper.
As this yellow slip signifies a fee for abusing parking privileges, many students feel there are not enough places for students to park on campus. What many people do not know is that parking tickets help fund projects that the Parking Services Department are responsible for.
“We’re an auxiliary operation, which means we have to be self supporting,” Manager of Parking Services Larry Emling said. “We fund any kind of parking lot improvements; which can be repaving a lot or building an entirely new lot.”
Emling has served as manager of Parking Services for some time; before being promoted to manager, he worked in the Parking Services Department for 8 years and spent 15 years working in Kent State resident life before that.
Parking services is responsible for the maintenance of parking lots, distributing parking permits, plowing the parking lots and walk ways, and they maintain a contract with the Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority for transportation around campus.
Because Parking Services in an auxiliary operation, the school does not have a budget set aside for parking and transportation. Parking ticket fees are what the department uses to fund projects.
“We did [the] Music and Speech [parking lot] four or five years ago, give or take. Because that was four or five different lots, it was almost 1.5 million and that was all new lighting, curbs, and paving,” Emling said. “That was a complete overhaul of a 40 year old lot that lasted a long time but needed redone.”
The money also helps parking services maintain contracts to have the parking lots plowed in the winters.
“We’re always plowing and salting, moving snow at night,” Emling said. “You just see a pile of snow, you don’t realize that it took a plow and two dump trucks to move that snow. Most of it takes place when people are sleeping between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m.”
This past year, a lot of students felt that the university oversold parking permits due to the scarcity of spaces during the week.
Emling explained that this was nearly impossible. As there are limited spaces on campus, Parking Services works with local churches around campus to provide parking for students.
Because the year has just begun, more stories will develop from PARTA and parking services.