Students surprised by parking tickets

Kamariea Forcier

Several people were surprised to find tickets on their cars last week after parking in an area behind a campus building that was not marked as a no-parking zone.
College of Liberal Arts senior Shawn Eliason was one of the unfortunate people given a $20 ticket after parking near a dirt road behind the Campus Mail building near Como Avenue.
A University parking monitor issued tickets to cars parked there Wednesday despite the fact that there are no signs announcing the no-parking zone.
“I usually park on the street,” said Eliason, a Campus Mail employee. But there were no-parking signs on the street because of street cleaning, so he parked behind the building, he said.
“And of course I came out to find a parking ticket on my car,” he said.
Eliason and others who received tickets plan to contest them with Hennepin County. Eliason said a Campus Mail employee has already contested a ticket and paid a reduced fine.
Lisa Heille, a CLA sophomore who works with Eliason, said the ticket is “absurd.”
Heille has been parking on the side street for more than a year, she said, and never received a ticket for parking there until Wednesday.
Lieutenant Regan Metcalf of the University Police said the bottom line is that “there is no free parking at the University of Minnesota.”
Instead of putting up no-parking signs, Metcalf said, University officials have decided to allow parking only where designated parking signs are posted. “You can’t park where it’s not designated,” she said. “If signs will help in there, we’ll recommend that signs be posted.”
But that would be fixing the problem after the fact, said Jerry Boggs, a delivery driver for Campus Mail.
Boggs believes the University should have posted signs if there was no parking there.
“They could’ve given us a warning,” Boggs said. But “they saw an opportunity to make between $300 to $400 in parking fines.”
Metcalf disagreed. “We’re not trying to drain revenue out of people, and we don’t want to trick people,” she said. University Police often issue tickets only after someone calls to complain about illegally parked cars, she said.
Although Boggs believes the ticket is unfair, he’s not going to take the time to fight it.
“By the time I took time off, it just wouldn’t be worth it,” he said.