McKinley Livingston, a senior nursing major from Decatur, was expecting a parking ticket when she parked her car on the left side of Clements Hall’s entrance, where the curb is unmarked, but to her surprise, she received a $75 fine rather than the typical $10 ticket price.
After she asked around and tried to appeal her ticket, Livingston realized that many students had issues with this area in particular, even though it is not marked using the color code Troy uses for its parking areas.
Livingston looked into Troy’s parking regulations and discovered that parking on an unmarked curb was not specifically listed as a violation.
According to Troy’s parking rules, a $75 fee will apply to parking in front of dumpsters, in fire lanes, in handicapped spots or blocking handicap ramps without proper credentials, service or loading docks and littering or noise violations.
The regulations say that all other offenses are supposed to be $10.
Nick Johnson, a sophomore physics major from Marbury and a resident assistant in Clements Hall, said he was also blindsided when he saw the ticket amount for parking on an unmarked curb.
After he parked in the same area as Livingston in the Clements Hall lot, he was given a $75 fine, and he noticed another Troy student had received the same violation.
During his resident assistant training, he was not made aware that the area would result in a $75 ticket.
“The only thing that (administration) told us was at the beginning of year to tell people not to park in the fire lanes, which are supposed to be the yellow painted curbs that say tow-away zone,” Johnson said. “So as far as I know, the unmarked ones should be okay.”
Haley Davis, a sophomore science education major from Slapout, experienced a similar issue in the lot behind Hawkins Hall.
“I had back to back classes, so I wasn’t able to go and move my car when I got the email about my ticket,” Davis said. “I got the $10 one first, which I understand because I parked in an unmarked space.”
Davis said she somewhat expecting a ticket since she saw the space was unmarked.
“I’m not upset about that part,” she said. “But then, I got a $75 ticket 30 minutes to an hour later after not being able to move (my car).”
She went to the University Police Department to ask about getting two tickets at about 4:10 p.m., but an officer said the police office was closed. She was unable to return to the office because a weekday football game was the next day.
According to Dean of Students Herbert Reeves, the area in question can be considered a fire lane, even though it is not marked as such.
A student came to him with concern that fire trucks could not enter the Clements Hall parking lot if cars were parked alongside the left curb. “When people park there, it does block that area up.”
When it comes to other areas such as in Hawkins Hall’s parking lot, some curbs are simply in need of painting or signage; Reeves said administration is planning on painting more curbs next year.
“We would clarify as we move because we’re going to be adding some yellow curbs, so as we go into January, we would make those changes online.”
Otherwise, Reeves said for students who have difficulties with parking ticket amounts to contact him.
If a student has problems receiving a ticket for unmarked or unclear areas, they can appeal a ticket through the Student Government Association (SGA) within 72 hours of receiving the ticket.
The parking appeals committee meets on Mondays at 4 p.m. in the SGA office in the Trojan Center.
Most students agreed the solution is simple: mark no-parking areas clearly. Johnson was able to appeal her ticket and get the charge reduced to $10, but Johnson and Davis still had to pay their fines.
“I think it’s simple,” Johnson said. “If they’re going to ticket people, they just need to paint the curb.”
Livingston suggested using signs and sending out emails with regulations while curbs are not properly marked.
“(Signs are) a temporary solution for a temporary problem before they can bring in a permanent solution,” she said. “That would also make sure students are aware, especially those who haven’t read rules and regulations, even though they should.”