Dec 032002
 
Authors: Christopher J. Ortiz

CSU parking services might be giving people the boot if there are enough parking tickets left unpaid.

Starting in the spring semester, parking services will be implementing a new policy that will replace towing of cars with more than four parking tickets with the placement of a car boot. The procedure was approved Monday by the Board of Governors of the CSU system, which governs CSU and the University of Southern Colorado.

Mike Rose, director of parking services, said the new policy would make it more convenient for people to pay their fines and not deal with the hassle of getting their cars from tow yards.

“We are trying to keep the cost of we have to go down,” Rose said.

If car owners come outside and find a boot on their car, they will have to pay a $50 fine plus pay all outstanding fines or work out a plan to pay off those tickets.

“We are not trying to stick students (with tickets they cannot pay),” Rose said. “We are understanding if students talk to us about why they can’t pay parking tickets.”

Presently, if parking services decides to tow a car, the costs incurred to the owner of the car can be substantial. Because CSU parking services and the CSU Police Department do not have a contract with one towing company, several companies are on a list that the university uses and that leads to different fines.

Rose said he thought it was unfair for one person to be charged more than the last person for the same reason only because a different towing company was used. One towing company charges an $85 towing fee while a second company would only charge $70.

In addition to different towing charges, car owners may incur additional charges. Most towing companies charge a $20 storage fee per day as well as a per mile fee for the towing. One company in town charges $2.75 per mile.

Often, when students’ cars are towed, they are not the owner of the car and that can lead to problems.

“Only the owner can get the car out,” Rose said.

He was unsure why CSU did not have a contract with one towing company. CSUPD could not be reached for reasons why either.

Rose calls the new policy a win-win for parking customers and for parking services. He said one of the biggest problems the office has is matching up the driver with the owner of the car and that often leads to tickets not being paid.

There is also a convenience factor, according to Rose. Students would not have to leave campus to have the boot removed from their car. Car owners can also expect to have their car un-booted almost right away after the situation is resolved.

Jason Huitt, a senator in the Associated Students of CSU and a member of the parking service committee, was in full support of the new policy.

“I think it’s great to see a service on campus that receives a ton of criticism doing something good for the students,” Hewitt said.

Cord Brundage, the director of campus outreach for ASCSU, brought up a concern that placing boots on people’s cars would create a new problem of having booted cars taking up precious parking spaces.

According to Rose, a car left unattended for more than 48 hours is considered abandoned and parking services has the right to tow it. He said towing would only be a final resort. Parking services may tow a car blocking any entrances or if there is a safety concern.

As for the costs of implementing the boot policy, CSU parking services bought five boots, costing $700 apiece. More will be bought as parking services sees fit. Also, parking services plans to have a vehicle dedicated to clamping and removing the boots. Rose does not expect to hire additional staff because of the new policy.

FYI Box:

For questions or addition information about the new parking policy or to have your car unbooted, call 491-7041. CSU parking services is located in Green Hall.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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