KU Today: The 5 commandments of parking on campus (successfully)

Kansas University parking control officer Steve DeVillier photographs a license plate as he works to print out a citation for an illegally parked vehicle in the lot south of Robinson Gymnasium on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Starting with the fall 2015 semester, KU Parking will use e-permits, and eventually move from printed tickets to e-mailed ones.

No more stickers on your windshield. Starting this school year, all parking permits will now be electronic — an e-permit registered under your license plate.

For now, paper tickets will still be issued as the Kansas University parking department gradually switches to e-citations, in which students only get an email notification, KU Parking and Transit director Donna Hultine said.

For those who drive to class, here are some things you should know.

1. You need a permit.

The KU Parking and Transit website states, “All vehicles on KU campus are required to have permits beginning the first day of classes.”

All campus lots require a permit, and not every permit is good for every lot. All parking meters require payment, parking permit or not.

Permits can be purchased for the semester or for the year, and are sold online at parking.ku.edu. You’ll need your license plate number, so be sure to note it before you begin your transaction. For those who drive multiple vehicles, you can register up to four different license tags, Hultine said.

2. Read the signs.

The good news is that signs at the entrance to every parking lot indicate the permit required and the hours the lot is restricted.

But some lots have a mix of different parking zones, so be sure you’re parking in one you have a permit for. Students generally park in yellow zones and residence hall lots, while red, blue and gold zones are faculty and staff parking spaces.

Even for returning students, reading the signs is especially important, because there were some zone changes over the summer, Hultine said. Some yellow lots, such as Lot 50 behind JRP Hall and Lot 62 east of the computer center, are now red. A summary of the map changes is available online.

“It’s just going to be really important to pay attention,” Hultine added. “We hope to write just warning tickets first to make sure people really understand what the changes were.”

The evening can bring some respite. Yellow zones generally open up at 4 p.m. and most other lots open up at 5 p.m., but there are some exceptions, Hultine said. Signs indicate hours or enforcement, so again, be sure to read them.

3. If you get a ticket, pay it right away.

Tickets must be paid within 10 business days of being issued, or an additional $10 fee will be added and the ticket will be considered “outstanding.”

Unpaid parking tickets put a hold on your account, which blocks you from enrolling in classes when the time comes to do so. More than three unpaid tickets can result in your car being towed from campus and impounded.

Tickets can be paid — and also appealed within 10 days — online at parking.ku.edu. But make sure you have a good reason to appeal, because if the traffic court decides to uphold the ticket, there is a $5 fee for appealing.

“Don’t ignore the tickets; at least come in and talk to somebody,” Hultine said. “That’s what we’re here for, to make sure you understand what your options are.”

There is also a first-time ticket forgiveness quiz. So if it’s your first ticket and falls under certain categories (such as parking in the wrong zone — but not fire lanes or handicap spaces), you can cancel it by taking the parking quiz that goes over the rules.

4. Motorcycles and mopeds require permits, too.

Most lots have designated areas for motorcycles as well as moped and scooter-type vehicles, and such vehicles are required to park in those areas.

There are also some additional areas that offer spaces, such as between Anschutz Library and Budig Hall, Hultine said. You can look at the parking map for more.

Bicycles don’t require parking permits.

5. Give yourself time to find a spot.

Don’t expect to immediately find a parking space, especially during peak hours such as Mondays and Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Hultine said. It’s important to know where the yellow zones are and to have a backup plan in case the first lot you go to is full, Hultine said. That takes extra time, so make sure you plan for that possibility.