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The Blue & Gray Press | June 25, 2017

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Parking problems: UMW permits are too expensive

Parking problems: UMW permits are too expensive

By WILLIAM ATKINSON

Over the past two years of having my car at school, I have received several parking tickets from the school and from Fredericksburg City. Even leaving my car in the Jepson parking lot or on College Avenue for five minutes, I always expect to find a ticket. Students are being unfairly subjected to parking fees from overzealous Fredericksburg City parking enforcers, and the school as well. Why is parking such an issue at UMW?

The school provides parking permits for students to park on campus for the whopping price of $225 per year, unless the student is living in Eagle landing where the cost of parking permits is increased to $375. At that rate it makes more sense to illegally park and risk getting the occasional ticket. On campus parking is also very limited because of the lack of parking lots and the fact that most spots are open to everyone after a certain time.  Many commuter students are forced to purchase these overly expensive parking tickets and still end up struggling to find sufficient parking spaces.

Another problem UMW should address is the fact that students’ cars that are parked in the College Heights neighborhood and on College Avenue are being hunted by Fredericksburg City parking enforcers. There are some streets where parking is legal, but this is usually far away from campus. Why is there a division? Who decided where it should be placed? Also, in order to receive a city parking permit you must first prove your residency. This meaning that you’d have to be able to show city officials a bill or lease with your name it, being evidence that you are a resident in Fredericksburg. The main problem with this is that not all students who live in off campus houses are allowed to be on the lease. There are multiple city codes Fredericksburg has that do not allow more than three students to live in a house. At the same time, many homes supply more than three bedrooms and are advertised by landlords for letting more than three people live there. So, the student or students not legally allowed to be included on the lease will not be able to prove their residency so they cannot apply for a Fredericksburg City parking permit.

In order to make life for students at UMW easier, the school needs to revise their parking system. I understand that they cannot just give out free parking permits, but there needs to be a cheaper and more effective method.

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