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Pay the price: Parking tickets issued near Lila

A neon yellow ticket is a fearful welcome back to your parked car outside of the Lila D. Bunch Library, if this has happened to you — you're not alone.

“They do not hesitate with those tickets,” said senior Claire Booker.

While there is plenty of designated parking for registered vehicles in some of Belmont's academic building parking garages, some students are frustrated at the lack of student parking near the Lila D. Bunch Library and on West Belmont Boulevard.

After parking in the library street parking, Booker got her first ticket during her junior year.

More recently, she parked in front of the library for her class in the Watkins College of Art and got yet another ticket.

Booker was able to appeal her first ticket but ended up paying her second.

“I don’t have a problem following Belmont’s parking rules, it’s just the fact that there is not clear signage. There is on the street, but the actual parking spots itself haven't been repainted,” said Booker.

All the parking spots were re-striped a few years ago, and some of the “visitor” wording has faded away, said Deputy Chief Mark Labbé.

“Also, there is just so much visitor parking, I feel like the library needs to be accessible for students. It’s not like it’s a random building,” said Booker.

Belmont senior Sarah Headapohl parked in the lot between the Lila D. Bunch Library and Watkins College of Art for 10 to 15 minutes to take a COVID-19 test in Gabhart when she received her parking ticket.

“I am honestly just scared since I got the ticket, even though they were nice enough to get rid of it. I shouldn’t park there anyways,” said Headapohl.

An overall tip from Labbé, park where you are supposed to.

“Nothing on this campus is a long-distance walk,” he said.

Navigating parking at Belmont may be confusing, but the Office of Campus Security say they do their best to make it easy to understand.

“I’m always honestly shocked that people still don’t understand parking rules, with the amount of ways that we try to put the messaging out there,” Labbé said.

All parking on West Belmont Boulevard, including street parking, Hitch parking lot and Fidelity parking lot is for visitors only.

“There are signs on both entrances of West Belmont Boulevard, there are signs at entrances of Hitch lot, and entrance of Fidelity lot,” said Labbé.

The visitor parking hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Anyone is welcome to park at the visitor spots outside of the visitor parking hours and on the weekends.

Commuter students can park anywhere on campus that’s not visitor parking, reserved or for handicapped.

“Residential students can only park where their residential parking allows them to park,” said Labbé.

Labbé says that there is a parking committee that meets once a year to decide who parks where each year.

“Once the rules are in place, we are not giving exceptions to the rules,” said Labbé.

Towards the beginning of the school year, warnings are given out.

“But we’re far enough along now that any grace and any warnings are passed, and now it’s the enforcement part,” said Labbé.

The first ticket a student receives is $100. The second? $200, and the third ticket is $300.

After that? The car gets booted.

“I realize that the citations are expensive. We don’t set the price, but they’re set that way to change behavior,” said Labbé.

For more information on parking please visit the Office of Campus Security’s Instagram and Parking Regulations website or stop by their office and pick up a parking pamphlet with more information.

This article was written by Elisabeth Gage

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