Leave the car at home.
That's one piece of advice Kansas University's parking director, Donna Hultine, offers to new students who want to avoid parking troubles.
Students can get around fine in Lawrence and on campus by riding the bus, she said. Other options include walking to class and riding a bicycle.
But for those who feel they need a car, here are some tips for avoiding parking problems:
- KU routinely oversells its parking spaces, so students shouldn't assume that if they buy a pass, they'll be able to park where they want. For example, last year KU sold 8,325 permits for 5,639 spaces in its "Yellow" parking lots, according to KU figures.
"Anticipate that you're going to be hunting in a parking lot," Hultine said.
Students should familiarize themselves with all of the lots where they're allowed to park, not just the most convenient lots, she said.
- Know the rules.
"Buying a parking pass makes them responsible for knowing the rules," she said.
She said students should read a copy of the parking regulations pamphlet, which includes a map of the different color-coded lots.
- Don't ignore tickets. Students who accumulate three or more unpaid tickets on campus can have their vehicle towed and be required to pay before getting it back, Hultine said.
If someone gets a ticket and doesn't understand why, he or she can come to the parking office at 1501 Irving Hill Road. Also, KU law students help defend students during parking appeals in a campus "court of equity," Hultine said.
- If you park in a private, off-campus lot, be prepared to accept the consequences.
"If we do see people who are parked in the parking lots illegally, we tow," said Bobbie Jo Wintle, a manager at Mastercraft Management, which owns several apartment complexes near campus.
Is that a threat, or does it really happen?
"Oh, yes, it does, as unpleasant as it is for both parties," she said.