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Unpaid parking tickets will result in towing

Mills’ Public Safety will enforce parking violations on Mills campus by early April, said Director of Public Safety Michael Lopez.

Parking tickets on campus range from $10 to $100 and double after a 14 day grace period expires.

According to Lopez, three unpaid parking citations will result in Public Safety having the car towed off campus.

Public Safety decided on this new system after buying a computer to track citations.

“We noticed many were going unpaid,” said Lopez. “And after a lot of complaints about parking violators by the Mills community, I decided something needed to be done.”

Lopez said cars were rarely towed on campus in the past, and students could find their cars on campus at the Richards Gate parking lot. Because of the increase in unpaid citations over the past two semesters, Lopez said towing cars might be more effective in getting his message across.

“Students, faculty and staff – you cannot park wherever you want,” Lopez said.

Mills has not decided on using any specific towing company, but the average price for getting a vehicle out is $200 with an additional $50 a day storage fee.

According to Lopez, if a car is not registered with Mills, the violator would have to pay the college before trying to get the car out of towing. If the car is registered at Mills, the citation balances would just remain on the student’s account.

If students do not pay and their car is seen on campus, Public Safety can tow the car again until the fines are paid.

Junior Stephanie, a commuter who did not provide her last name, said that this new rule is unjust considering the lack of on campus parking.

“I think Public Safety’s looking at the wrong issues,” said Stephanie. “We’re just students trying to get to class. So what if we park in the guest area on Friday mornings when no cars are there anyway.”

Lopez said that this policy is not new. “It’s been in effect for years, but no one has done anything to enforce it.”

After a second parking violation, the owner of the car will receive a warning that one more violation will result in towing. Violators will also receive a pamphlet describing the rules and regulations for driving and parking on campus.

Notices will also be posted on student-news.

Until then, Lopez advises Mills drivers to stay within their designated sections.

“If you’re a resident and are running late to class … [it] is not an excuse to park in the guest parking,” said Lopez.

Red lines designate a spot for emergency vehicles. Blue lined parking spaces are for the disabled. Yellow-lined spots are for vehicles loading and unloading items. And green parking zones are for guests or timed parking.

Parking in a wrong zone will result in towing.

Cars double parked, parked in crosswalks or in the dirt will also be towed.

An e-mail will notify the owner of a towed car and a listing of the cars towed on campus will be available through Lopez or at the gatehouse.

For students who cannot pay for their tickets, Public Safety will now provide campus community service work where students can earn $10 an hour credited against their parking violation fines.

Lopez said the workers would perform public safety duties such as escorting or Seminary gate duties. Office work with HMDS or conference help is also an option.

Sophomore Genevieve Evans, who initially thought the policy seemed unfair, said, “We are getting warnings, and it’s good to know Mills will be punishing those who park in the dirt.”

According to Evans, parking in the dirt harms roots and stunts the growth of trees.

She also said that Public Safety should exempt students on weekends. “It’s pretty dead here on campus, so why can’t we park in the commuter section because it’s closer to Stern and it’s raining?”

For now, Lopez said that Mills must enforce parking rules in order to accomodate for the growing Mills community.