Watch your rear: Parking proposal could put an end to backing in

Mark Judson

Say goodbye to back-in parking if the university approves a virtual parking decal system to replace current physical decals.

Physical decals would be replaced with virtual ones. Photo by Mark Judson
Physical decals would be replaced with virtual ones. Photo by Mark Judson

The measure, if passed, will require students and faculty to register their vehicle’s license plate number with their online parking account. Purchased parking decals will be virtually stored in the account rather than displayed on the vehicle.

Director of Parking Services George Androuin said a pair of vehicles equipped with license plate readers would monitor permits, scaling back golf cart enforcement teams currently used. The system is dependent on drivers pulling their vehicles forward to park, banning back-in parking.

Back-in parking would result in a parking citation unless the driver owns a “back-in parking decal” which will be available for purchase if the initiative goes into effect.

Back-in parking would result in a citation under the new policy. Photo by Mark Judson
Back-in parking would result in a citation under the new policy. Photo by Mark Judson

The shift to digital will allow drivers to register up to five vehicles with the system. The ability to add more vehicles allows for students to easily switch between driving their own car and their parents’, which previously required a temporary permit from parking services.

Spinnaker cited the flaw of five friends purchasing one permit and adding all their vehicles to the account. Due to the way the system tracks vehicles on campus it is highly unlikely this exploit would be possible according to Androuin.

Purchasing the vehicles and equipment is estimated to cost $150,000 with a return on investment taking three to four years. The digital switch would immediately cut the roughly $70,000 parking services spends per year to print and mail physical permits according to Androuin.

Androuin said an increase in permit costs is not expected.

 

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