‘U’ increases the fines for parking violations

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - 4:15pm

The University of Michigan is planning on increasing the cost of parking violations on campus property.

The University of Michigan is planning on increasing the cost of parking violations on campus property. Buy this photo
Alex Baker/Daily

The University of Michigan plans to increase the cost of parking violations on campus property starting Feb. 1, 2020.

The fine for parking at an expired meter will increase to $40, or $30 if paid the next business day. The fine for parking with no permit in a University lot will be $75, or $65 if paid the next day.

The city of Ann Arbor has its own traffic laws separate from the University, with meters charging $1.90 per hour of parking. The price of a parking ticket in the city is $25, or $15 if paid the next day. 

The University fees are more expensive than city fees for the same violations. The Ann Arbor fine for violations such as parking over the legal limit at a meter, parking when no stopping or standing signs are posted and parking in no-parking zones are all $35, or $25 if paid the next day. The biggest difference is the fee for parking in a fire lane. The Ann Arbor violation is $50, or $40 if paid the next day, and the University violation is $100, or $90 the next day. 

On its website, the University mentions they determined the new citation rates by evaluating the rates from similar institutions and the city of Ann Arbor. The University will review the citation rates in the coming years.

“The goal is to improve access and convenience for our permit holders who pay to park within the system and discourage those who do not have permits from using a space they are not credentialed to use,” the website reads. “An increase in citation rates will also assist parking enforcement in gaining voluntary compliance with parking rules and regulations.”

In an email to The Daily, University spokeswoman Kim Broekhuizen cited further justification for the move. 

“Citation rates for the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor were last set on January 1, 1997,” Broekhuizen wrote. “An increase in citation rates is necessary to encourage proper parking as well as assist parking enforcement in gaining voluntary compliance with parking rules and regulations.”

The increase in parking violations elicited mixed reactions from community members and students. University alum Jennifer Edwards, a major gifts officer for Michigan Medicine, offered hesitant support for the price increase.

“As a staff member who owns a pass, it’s probably good to discourage people from parking where they shouldn’t because a lot of times we end up going in, and there is not a spot,” Edwards said. “... It’s probably discouraging them from doing so.” 

Ann Arbor has faced criticism for the lack of parking and heavy traffic, and students have voiced complaints on social media.

LSA junior Kelly Brueger, an Ann Arbor resident who commutes to class, was particularly upset with the change and said she has not yet been notified by the University about the increased fines.

“That’s pretty unfair to up the price,” Brueger said. “From what I know there aren’t many parking options to begin with, so increasing the prices makes it even harder for commuters.”