To park or not to park: Having your car on campus

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A UTEP Parking and Transportation Services employee places a citation on an illegally parked vehicle.

Julio Cesar Chavez, Staff Reporter

With the school year starting, some students may find finding a place to park their car more difficult than expected. Those who use campus parking lots without a permit may even return to find a parking citation on their windshield.

Although some students may walk or take public transport to school, UTEP provides parking lots for those who drive. All available permits are valid for an entire year, expiring just before the next fall semester starts. With a variety of options, some students may feel perplexed by which parking permit to buy.

There are three garages available to UTEP students and staff, each on different parts of the campus.

The Sun Bowl and Schuster garages, both requiring a separate gold parking permit, cost $334 per year. Those who may have just bought their permit should be aware they are only allowed to park in one garage, and the permits are not interchangeable. These garages may be the most useful to students and staff who will spend most of their day in the areas around the library, Undergraduate Learning Center, and the Fox Fine Arts building.

“I’m a lot closer to the Mike Loya building, so I can go there if I need to deal with financial aid or other services,” said Alyssa Downey, junior psychology major.

According to the UTEP Parking and Transportation Services, these garages are strictly enforced from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays.

The Glory Road Garage, coming in at $231, is located on the north side of campus, next to the Don Haskins Center. Although it is a bit farther from the main campus, students regularly involved in sports may find it to be just a short walk from the courts and fields. The Glory Road Garage is also easily accessible from Mesa Street, making for an easy commute. This garage also has its permit rules enforced from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For students with most classes in the northern end of campus, the Premium Perimeter (silver) permits may be their best option.

“It’s a lot closer to the Health Sciences building, where most of my classes are,” said Daphine Liang, a senior clinical lab science major.

At $225, they offer closer parking spots than the Glory Road Garage, and also offer the option of parking at the southwestern end of campus, close to the Sun Bowl Garage. With permits being enforced from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., anyone with a silver permit can park in any silver zone after 3 p.m.

The blue perimeter lots offer 14 different parking lot options all throughout campus, from the corner close to Schuster and I-10 to beyond the Sun Bowl stadium. Costing $173 per year, the perimeter lots give a variety of choices for many needs.

“Other permits I’ve had were only close to two buildings I needed,” said Angel Ramirez, freshman business major. “(The P-3 permit) is right next to where most of my classes are.”

With only a short walk to the campus proper, students and staff that have classes all over campus may find perimeter permits a useful option. They might be best used by those who spend most of their time on the outskirts of campus, like the Mike Loya Academic Services Building, the library, or the northern part of Centennial Plaza.

The remote lots, identified by their green permit requirement, are the most removed from the campus proper and at $123 are the cheapest permits.

Although the distance between the remote parking lots and classes may intimidate some, it’s not necessary to walk. The Miner Metro shuttle system passes by each of the remote parking lots with a maximum of 10 minutes between each shuttle, making the commute to campus shorter and more comfortable than walking.

Some cars may be seen parked around dormitories with purple permits, and these are not available to the general public. Purple resident parking permits, costing $140, are only available to those who live in the dorms themselves.

Permits are not interchangeable between cars, as they are registered to each vehicle individually. If permits are placed on cars in which they don’t belong, both permit holders and car owners may be faced with a fine for violating the parking rules.

“I had gotten the Sun Bowl garage permit, but still had my old remote permit on my windshield,” Downey said. “Luckily I got off with a warning.”

If you are cited for parking in the wrong lot, not displaying your permit, or exchanging permits, the citation may still be appealed.

The Parking and Transportation Services requires the appeal process to be started through their website. Once an appeal is requested, you will receive an email asking you to set an appeal date within 14 calendar days. Although appeals may be written or be made in person, doing the appeal in person allows for evidence to be brought in and presented in order to back your case.

Julio Cesar Chavez may be reached at [email protected]