Illegally parking on campus has just become a more risky proposition.
Effective the beginning of this month, Transportation and Parking Services increased fines for parking from $30 to $40. TAPS officials say the 33 percent increase will bring campus parking fines into alignment with the expected increase in the City of Davis parking fines.
The higher fine also includes a $3 state surcharge that came into effect at the beginning of 2009. The surcharge stems from California Senate Bill 1407, which will provide up to $5 billion to renovate or replace the state’s court facilities.
TAPS Director Cliff Contreras said the remainder of the $10 increase will cover increase costs of parking enforcement on campus. TAPS also uses revenues from parking fines to fund its alternative transportation program, which provides subsidies to individuals who carpool or take the bus or train to campus, he said.
For several years, TAPS charged less for parking violations than the City of Davis, which currently charges $35 for parking violations. However, the amount is expected to increase to $40 when the city council approves the budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.
“The majority of parking fine revenues funnel into parking enforcement units, which for salaries, parking and street maintenance and printing,” said Jim Ivler, administrative services manager at the Davis Police Department. Leftover funds are allocated into the city’s general fund, he said.
Despite the heavier fines, the good news for many commuters is that parking citations issued by TAPS has been on the decline. In 2001-2002, TAPS issued 39,791 parking tickets – a five-year high. However, by 2007-2008, the number of issued citations had fallen to 28,056, a 30 percent decline from the 2001-2002 high.
Contreras said TAPS‘ courtesy warning program, implemented in 2003, has contributed to the decline in issued parking citations. TAPS issued 4,142 warnings in 2007-2008, a 20 percent increase over the 3,442 courtesy warnings issued in 2006-2007.
Still, many misconceptions remain over what is legal and illegal parking, Contreras said.
“Many individuals believe that if they are only parking for a very short period of time – usually to pick up or drop off something – it is acceptable to park without an appropriate permit in disabled spaces, meters, and other restricted or permit required spaces. This is not accurate and anyone parking for any period of time without an appropriate permit for the space will stand the risk of receiving a citation,” he said.
Instead of risking a citation by parking without a permit for a few minutes, people can park in loading zones, which do not require a permit. Most loading zones allow for 15 to 30 minutes of short-term parking, Contrereas said.
The most common citations issued are for parking without a valid permit and meter expirations, Contreras said.
For those who believe they were unfairly cited, there is an appeals process consisting of three tiers: First, an individual can submit a written appeal to TAPS explaining why the parking fine was unwarranted. The Appeals Committee will consider the submission at no cost.
If the Appeals Committee denies the appeal, the individual can request a hearing held on campus. However, the individual must pay the cost of the citation in order to schedule a hearing. If the hearing goes in the individual’s favor, TAPS will refund the ticket.
Finally, for those who remain convinced that they were unfairly ticketed, they can request a hearing through Yolo County Superior Court. Although the Court charges $25 for such a review, the full amount of the ticket and court charge will be refunded if the ruling is in the individual’s favor.
For more information about campus parking, visit taps.ucdavis.edu/parking.
PATRICK McCARTNEY can be reached at email@example.com.