City College banks nearly $90,000 in parking tickets to start semester

Photo+Illustration

Nate Stephenson

Photo Illustration

Clara A. Uttenthal, Staff Writer

A total of 2,192 parking citations were issued to City College students and staff members during the first two months of the fall semester, an amount higher than the number of parking spaces available on campus. 

“Parking here is very impacted and it’s definitely a problem,” said Moises Prieto, security officer and former City College student. 

There are 1,941 student parking spaces in the daytime on campus, but with 16,177 students enrolled at City College last semester, there was only enough parking for 12 percent of the students. 

There’s an obvious trend in the number of parking citations issued every year, with many more citations issued in the beginning months of the semester. The high numbers of citations in these months can be attributed to students not knowing the parking rules or parking without a sticker. In these four months alone in 2019, 4,189 parking citations worth $87,777 were issued. 

Security has about 20 to 24 students hired as officers to work the kiosks on East and West Campus, do patrols and write parking citations. 

Prieto and fellow security officers are often approached by frustrated recipients of parking citations, but he emphasizes that they are taught to be nice and professional in order to de-escalate the situation. 

The cost of parking citations ranges from $40 to $350 depending on what you’re cited for. A citation must be paid or contested within 21 days of receiving it. After court and administrative fees, the money goes to the city and City College’s parking fund gets the remainder. The funding goes towards clean-ups of the parking lots, making repairs and installing meter machines.  

Erik Fricke, Head of Security, believes that there are two reasons students violate parking regulations. 

“They either can’t find parking in designated student parking lots, or they do it out of convenience to be closer to where they have to go,” said Fricke. 

City College student Jessica Werking has received more than 10 citations throughout her three years at the school. 

“You can go online and contest them. I usually do that because they give you half off,” said Werking, who received her latest parking citation a week ago. 

“I didn’t want to be late for my midterm so I parked in carpool,” she explained.

Abel Romero, a City College student, had received four parking citations without paying them. One day he checked his account and realized that he owed $300. 

“It’s on you to go do it [pay] which I didn’t know,” said Romero. Buying a parking permit that costs $35 and lasts a whole semester is worth it compared to the amount of money he has spent on citations, Romero said.

Fricke and the school encourage students to take advantage of the MTD bus services, carpooling or simply biking to school to avoid being late for classes and receiving citations.