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Parking problems for students on campus

TJC has an increasing amount of students in a hurry to get to class, while trying to find a convenient place to park.

Last fall, approximately 9,928 students were enrolled at TJC, according to a number provided by TJC officials. The number of parking spaces provided by TJC Maintenance shows that just on the main campus there are a total of 2,465 student spaces and a total of 592 faculty spaces.

Campus Safety said that 90 percent of tickets written are to students who park in faculty lots.

“There are enough lots available, but students choose to find closer ones,” Chief Randy Melton, director of campus safety, said.

According to the Parking regulations, those fines can begin to add up after a period of time.

“Parking fines begin at $25, except parking in a handicapped space without proper permit, which is a violation of state law and the fine is $50.”

“Campus Safety averages about 75 parking tickets per week,” Campus Safety Secretary Vivian Altbrandt, said. “If issued a ticket, students can choose to appeal to a committee. If a ticket goes unpaid and has overdue fines, that student’s account may be put on hold, and the account must be paid in full to re-enter TJC or to attend future semesters on campus. To pay fines, students must go to the Cashier’s Office.”

Bill King, director of the physical plant believes that the parking on campus is adequate to meet student needs.

“Last fall, we had 10,000 students and one parking lot was never utilized,” said King. This lot is located behind the JoAnn Medlock Murphy Tennis Center and has a total number of 112 spaces.

Melton stated that the congestion is much better around two weeks after school begins. Also, the spring semester is better due to more parking available that is in use by the band during the fall semester.

After 5 p.m. faculty lots become accessible to students, with the exception of the lot by Potter Hall and the one by Pirtle Technology. Students are never able to park in service or handicap spaces.

For students concerned about their safety, TJC provides a Courtesy Escort Service.

“We want to encourage students to contact Campus Safety,” Melton said.

If anyone has concerns about parking or its violations, contact Campus Safety at 903-510-2222.

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