By Johannah O’Keefe
As of Monday, January 12, the Office of Public Safety has instituted changes to the parking policy and traffic regulations on campus in response to student complaints and recommendations of the Student Senate.
The changes will be made permanent if the student body demonstrates an adherence to the new policies, which the Office of Public Safety hopes will be an improvement for students and faculty/staff.
Initiative one states that residential students may park in commuter spaces from 5 p.m. on Fridays through 7 a.m. on Mondays. A fine of $40 will be enforced for violating the restrictions.
The second initiative states that UMW Apartment-decal vehicles may park in the Goolrick Commuter Lots from 5 p.m. to midnight every night of the week.
Initiative three states that all residential and commuter students may park in any open Faculty/Staff space Mondays through Thursdays from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. the following day; Fridays from 5 p.m. through Mondays at 7 a.m. However, the GW Lot, Monroe Small Lot, Goolrick Lot and Simpson Library Lot will remain restricted at all times. Students may not park in lots reserved for events or areas where weather emergency parking is in effect.
UMW-registered vehicles will be towed and the owner will pay for towing if violations occur.
The fourth initiative provides for fifteen-minute parking spaces for each residence hall enforced by the honor system. Any vehicle may pull into these spaces to allow for quick drop off or pick up of passengers and items.
Should an officer become aware that a vehicle has been parked in a fifteen-minute spot for an excessive amount of time, there will be a fine of $15.
Initiative five states that for entering and exiting the Russell Hall lot onto Sunken Road
the driveway farthest from William Street will be the enter drive to prevent traffic from backing up on William Street. The driveway nearest William Street will be the exit drive.
This initiative will also be enforced by the honor system, but should an officer observe a violation, the driver may be issued a Virginia Uniform Summons for “Failure to Obey a Highway Sign,” which is a $30 fine plus court costs.
Senior commuter student Sean Freeman sees the new parking policies as an improvement, but says they are more beneficial for residential students.
“The new parking initiative doesn’t provide that much relief for commuter students. Most of the changes that were made mainly benefitted residential students,” Freeman explains. Although he agrees that the new parking and traffic policies should ease some of the frustrations among residential students with cars, he echoed similar student complaints that the new policies were not expansive enough.
“UMW could do a little more to solve some of the parking concerns of commuters, like spots available that aren’t just on the Jepson side of campus,” he said.
All questions and comments about the new parking and traffic initiatives should be directed to Sean O’Brien, President of the Student Government Associationhttp://studentgov.umwblogs.org/