Illegal parking in reserved lots to pack less pocketbook punch


Amy Poppinga And Ruth Brown

Improperly parking in a reserved lot now carries a lower fine.

The Parking and Traffic Committee voted on Jan. 19 to issue improper parking ID tickets to those who park in a reserved lot without a reserved decal. The SDSU Police Department formerly issued unauthorized parking in a reserved lot tickets, which carry a $100 fine, for this parking violation. Improper parking ID tickets have a $50 fine.

Cora Olson, an officer with the SDSUPD, said $100 fines were necessary for illegal parking in a reserved spot when people used to buy a specific reserved stall. Then, when people parked illegally in a reserved spot, they directly displaced the owner of the reserved stall.

With this year’s reserved lot system, a reserved decal owner is generally not displaced when someone parks illegally in the lot.

Olson said she thought the $100 fine was now “steep” since no one is displaced. Plus, some people have accidentally illegally parked in reserved lots this year since the lots only have one main sign instead of a marker for every stall indicating that it is a reserved space, she said.

“The punishment no longer fits the crime,” Olson said.

Those that illegally park in the few marked reserved stalls on campus will still receive a $100 fine since the owner of the reserved parking stall is directly displaced by this violation.

“I got a ticket earlier this year that was for $100, and I thought it was ridiculous,” said Jessie Kaffee, a freshman pre-nursing major. “I ended up fighting it though and won, because it was in the very first week of school.”

Even though the violation now costs $50, many members of the Parking and Traffic Committee said they thought the fine was still large enough to prevent illegal parking in reserved lots.

“Fifty dollars would be enough of a deterrent, meaning it will still make people think before they do it again or before they do it at all,” Olson said.

Some students think many of SDSU’s parking ticket prices are too high.

“I understand that parking tickets can be a good source of revenue for SDSU, but it is frustrating because we already pay so much money on tuition and books,” said Amber Huether, a junior graphic design major.

Contrary to these SDSUPD tickets, some parking tickets from the City of Brookings have actually increased this year.

The Brookings City Council increased the fee for parking during snow removal from $25 to $35 this year at their Oct. 27 meeting. The council agreed that this was a decision made in hopes that people will better obey parking regulations during snow removal.

“It is a common problem for the street plows,” said City Manager Jeff Weldon. “Hopefully the increased price will be motivation to not park on snow routes.”