Parking Fines Have Students Fuming

BY ANDREW PENACHO // DEC. 18, 2014 //

Students are rarely pleased with the parking situation at Curry College. Specifically, they routinely complain about a perceived lack of parking spots, as well as rules that restrict where on campus they can park.

However, it’s the high cost of parking tickets that has students most fuming.

“The parking tickets at Curry are too high,” said Patrick England, a sophomore management major. “I paid a lot to park my car here. There is no reason why I can’t park where I want.”

PHOTO BY AARON VAN DORN // CREATIVE COMMONS

PHOTO BY AARON VAN DORN // CREATIVE COMMONS

A parking pass at Curry costs traditional undergrads $250 per academic year. Traditional day commuters pay $125, while evening commuters pay only $50. Each student pass has certain location restrictions, which are typically based on where the student lives on campus. Failure to park in the correct lot can lead to parking tickets that range from a low of $50 to as much as $200. If necessary, vehicles may also be towed at the owner’s expense.

Curry’s Public Safety department doles out the tickets.

Brian Greeley, chief of Public Safety, said there are approximately 1,500 parking spots on campus. About the same number of people have parking passes, and first-year traditional residential students are not even allowed to keep a car on campus.

Bottom line: “There is no room for premier parking,” said Greeley, who noted “at least 6 to 8 people come to the Public Safety building a day to complain about a ticket they just received.”

As for the cost of tickets, Greeley said the basic $50 parking fine mirrors the penalty in area towns. But that’s not entirely true.

According to the Boston Police Department, the penalty for parking in permit-required areas of Hyde Park, Mattapan and Dorchester is $25. And Kathleen O’ Donnell, senior administrative parking clerk for the town of Milton, gasped when hearing fine amounts at Curry. The penalty for illegally parking in a residential area of Milton—which is akin to improperly parking in a restricted lot at Curry—is only $15.

Greeley declined to say how much money Curry has generated through ticketing students this semester, or previous semesters, as well as the number of tickets handed out by Public Safety. He did say the money generated through tickets go to the college’s “general fund,” meaning it’s not earmarked for a specific purpose.

Curry does have a ticket appeal process, and first-time offenses are routinely voided. You have seven business days to appeal a ticket, by going on Curry College’s website and filling out an online form.

If a student does not appeal the ticket within seven business days, the fine will be charged to his school account.

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