UNO parking tweet causes parking confusion among students

Photo by Creative Market

Charlotte Reilly

A UNO parking tweet spurred confusion about residential parking on Sept. 7, 2017.

“No UNO parking in neighborhoods near Dodge/Scott Campuses. This could result in a city violation/ tow. Permit-free parking at Lot 26,” the tweet read.

The Park Omaha call center said the city will not tow students for simply parking in a residential area.

“The only reason you’d get towed is if you are parking in a no-parking, you’re blocking the entrance to a house, or you have past due parking tickets,” a customer service worker said. UNO parking later deleted the tweet.

“This is not a policy change. We are not requiring it or enforcing it,” said the Parking and Transit Manager Vanessa Rath. “We are recommending that students not park in neighborhoods as we don’t have jurisdiction to enforce for Public Safety assistance. We also want students to avoid putting themselves in a location that may result a city violation or tow.”

Parking Services gets complaints each year from neighborhood residents near UNO, Rath said.

“If they have a flat tire, if they get locked out of their car, if they get a ticket, we can’t answer any of those questions because it’s not on our property,” Rath said. “If they get a city ticket or if they get towed because a neighbor gets frustrated because a car is parked in front of their house, that’s out of our hands. That goes more onto their driving record than it would if it were to happen on campus.”

Some students wonder where they should park. Oftentimes surface lots fill by 8 a.m.

“I’ve never really parked on the main campus because I don’t have a car, but I hear and see that it’s horrible,” said junior Ariana Powell.

Others are not bothered by the congested parking.

“It is important to take into consideration that having parking as limited as it is also has the side effect of motivating students to use other, less environmentally impactful, methods of transportation,” said junior Kian McIntosh.

Students who have surface lot permits switch to a garage pass. There are around 400 spots open in the Pacific Parking Garage every day, and the top level of the West Parking Garage is usually empty. Students who do not have permits should take the bus, buy a daily or hourly pass or use Lot 26, Rath said.

“Although I do agree that it is important to be environmentally conscious, in the ideal world we would have a way to motivate students to be sustainable without putting a strain on parking,” McIntosh said.