MU tops parking ticket tally among city’s universities

Photo by Cy Kondrick / Cy.Kondrick@Marquette.edu

Marquette’s campus and surrounding streets had the most parking tickets cited last year among Milwaukee’s universities, according to a six-month Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation.

From Dec. 15, 2009 to June 15, 2010, the Department of Public Works handed out 418,500 tickets to generate $21 million, according to the Journal Sentinel report. The streets within Marquette’s campus as well as those surrounding it claimed to 7,800 of those tickets.

Many students are well aware of the wrath of the infamous parking checkers and feel that the campus is a site for especially superfluous ticketing. However, Cindy Angelos, parking finance manager for the DPW, said students are not being targeted, but rather the heavy demand for parking causes greater enforcement.

Cecilia Gilbert, communications manager for the DPW, said the parking officers are assigned to routes and ensure that they adhere to instructions.

“The enforcement officers, through use of their hand-held, wireless, real-time computerized ticket writers, are monitored continuously and regularly by their supervisors,” she said. “Officers’ written logs are also reviewed daily.”

The 1700 N. Arlington Place lot, was a particularly hot spot for tickets, receiving 2,062, the report said.

Across the city, the most common parking violation was night parking with 202,779 tickets, followed by meter parking.

Thomas Sanders, parking enforcement manager for the DPW, said these areas have to turn over vehicles for the businesses in the area to be successful.

“We patrol the city pretty consistently,” he said. “If you talk to UWM students, they would probably say the same thing.”

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee followed Marquette in parking violations with about 5,800 citations during the six-month period.

The city currently employs 65 parking officers, according to Sanders. He said there is only one officer who patrols Marquette’s campus at any given time during the week.

While Marquette students have the option to pay to park their vehicles in university parking structures, many consider the rates too high and choose to wait until they move out of the dorms to have a car on campus. The current rates for this semester are $226 for full-time commuters and $345 for overnight parking.

Meredith Kalies, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, mostly uses her car to commute to work, and said she has received several tickets from the city for parking violations. Though she has yet to be cited on campus, Kalies said she is tired of the tickets and would like to see cheaper parking options on campus in the future.

“The city of Milwaukee tickets for everything,” she said.