Feb 182002

Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part interview with Kay Rios, director of University Parking Services. Part one ran last Tuesday.

Parking on campus is an issue almost everyone has feelings about. I recently had a chance to sit down with the director of CSU Parking Services, Kay Rios, and ask her some questions many students might ask if they had the opportunity.

Carabello: Lately there’s been a lot written in letters to the Collegian about ticket writers being soulless. How do you feel about this?

Rios: That’s garbage – they’re doing their job, for God sakes. Are tax collectors soulless? Are Collegian reporters vultures? Come on. Anytime you classify and label people you diminish them. What they are are students who need jobs. If we did not enforce, think what it would look like.

Yeah, but don’t ticket writers ever feel guilty about taking money from their peers?

When you park you make a conscius decision. I’m not parking your car, so you are giving me your money willingly – I’m not taking it. People need to accept responsibility for their actions, but they don’t, typically. They said, ‘You give me a ticket and you’re a slug.’ No. You parked there and got a ticket and you’re not very bright. Of course there are situations where the signs might not be clear, and we’ll work with you.

What is the percentage of single-passenger vehicles on campus?

Eighty-five percent.

Do you feel that Transfort is efficient enough?

It’s a sore spot for me right now because they just totally eliminated my bus route (10). Now there’s nothing on the eastside of town – what are they, nuts? (The Fort Collins) City Council gave them a dictate to look at product instead of coverage, which is a joke. The students subsidize the bus system, yet 65 percent of ridership is from the general public, so the community needs to subsidize it as well. We need a transit tax and are working on it now. It’s going to have to be a community effort.

There’s an episode of “The Simpsons” where a slick-talking salesman comes to town and uses a catchy Broadway tune to convince the townspeople to build a monorail system. Is that what it will take to get people in Fort Collins to invest in public transportation?

(Laughs) Absolutely – marketing is a huge factor. A transit tax was proposed two years ago, but they bundled it, wrapped it with a traffic light system and repairs for roadways. The marketing they did stunk; it was horrible. It was voted down because they didn’t do it right. The reality is that people don’t think further than their personal needs. If they say do it to reduce air pollution, people don’t care. But say if they say to do it because the next guy will ride the bus and open up space on the roads, they might buy it.

Where do you and your staff park?

I buy a permit and park in an A zone. Everyone in this operation is subject to the exact same rules and regulations as everyone else. I probably get three or four tickets a year because I make choices. It always irritates me to come out and see a ticket, but I can’t grumble at anyone.

I’m parked in the 30-minute zone, so we need to wrap this up. Is there anything else you need to say?

I really encourage people to be considerate when parking – think about the variety of needs that we have on campus and if there is any way you could use alternative transportation, even if not every day, it helps everyone.

Zeb’s column appears in the Collegian every Tuesday.

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