Most students would agree that parking is a problem at at FAMU.
However, the biggest problem is not the lack of parking spaces, but the lack of convenient spaces. This issue has many commuting students choosing to park illegally.
Some attribute the problem to laziness – citing the stadium, parking garage and various fields along the perimeter of campus as ample parking.
But other students claim those parking areas are more of an inconvenience than a solution to their parking woes. To some, these remote areas seem far removed in adverse weather conditions, when running late for class, making a quick stop to an administrative office or during evening hours.
“You’d think it would be easier to find parking during evening hours, but there’s nowhere else close to my class,” said Cristal Cole, 27, a public relations student from Miami.
“I was in a hurry and noticed other cars were parked (in an unauthorized space).”
Cole said a parking attendant assured her that her car would not be ticketed or towed while parked one evening alongside a fence clearly marked ‘no parking’ in the employee parking lot between Tucker Hall and the new journalism building.
Cole escaped campus that night with her car in tact and without a ticket. She was lucky but many are not.
FAMU Parking Services Enforcement Coordinator Micheal Watson cautions that no parking attendant should tell students that they won’t be penalized for not adhering to rules.
“It would have to be an extreme emergency,” Watson said. Chief Robert Marks of the Tallahassee Fire Department warns that illegal parking may pose a threat not only to cars and wallets, but to the physical safety of students as well.
“The area around Diamond and McGuinn halls is the most problematic.”
Marks explained that if a situation arises in an area that the trucks cannot reach because of illegally parked cars, they have to carry the equipment by hand.
“It is very time consuming and could result in injuries or worse.”
Both Parking Services, which handles enforcement during business hours, and the FAMU Police Department, who takes over responsibility after 6 p.m., seem unfazed by the rebellion, citing that the rules have not changed since 2002.
“If I had to tell students anything,” Watson said, “it would be to familiarize themselves with traffic rules and regulations, pay attention and obey signs.”
With this news, students may want to break out their campus maps and hiking boots. Although what is available isn’t always the most convenient, until changes are made, students would do well to be mindful of on-campus parking regulations at all times.
Contact A.C. Burkins at firstname.lastname@example.org.