On Bates Parking Tickets


Sarah McCarthy

With the ongoing changes occurring with Lewiston City ordinances, parking on campus has become more of a hassle than it already was. Due to the overnight parking ban, students are no longer permitted to park their cars overnight on Bardwell Street, Campus Avenue, College Street, Central Avenue, Davis Street, Elm Street, Franklin Street, Oak Street, Vale Street, and White Street. To combat these changes, Bates Safety and Security has changed their parking policies, allowing anyone to purchase a parking permit but not guaranteeing that spots will be available for all students with permits. While this idea, in theory, helps students avoid receiving tickets from the Lewiston Police Department, it, in practice, presents more opportunities for students to receive tickets directly from Bates Security.

The page dedicated to parking regulations on the Bates Safety and Security website lists 21 fineable offenses. These violations include parking in a faculty/staff space, blocking a fire lane, or parking overnight in lots where it is prohibited. All tickets incur fees, with the exception of a warning, most tickets are either 20 or 30 dollars but some can be as high as 100 dollars. Not to mention that if students do choose to purchase a parking permit (that does not guarantee parking availability in student spaces), that alone will cost them 100 dollars. Security does have a policy where you are able to contest your ticket; however you do so in writing and it is voted upon by a student committee. Often times the appeal does not get seen until weeks after you received the ticket but must be submitted within seven calendar days of the issuance of said ticket. Personally, I never heard back about an appeal I made but was told that I would be notified within the month. This happened over a year ago and to this day I am unsure if I was billed 20 dollars for parking in a faculty space during pre-season, before anyone had moved in and classes were in session.

When researching what constitutes a parking violation, I came across a category called warning, something I have never heard of anyone receiving. The “warning” was listed at offense 20 of the 22 listed and revealed that there is no fine when receiving it. Having had a car on campus for three years, I have received at least four tickets, none of which were ever warnings. All the tickets I received were for things that would otherwise be harmless such as parking in a visitor’s spot without a permit or parking in a lot when I had a Merrill-only pass. Neither of those caused anyone significant harm nor presented any real danger. This has led me to wonder why the use of warning tickets is not more prominent at Bates. Most students who receive tickets did not intend to park in an undesignated space but were simply trying to make the best out of an already inconvenient parking situation.

Moving forward, I believe Bates Security should adopt a more lenient approach to student parking and utilize warnings more often. Getting back to your car after several hours of working hard and realizing there is a ticket you have to pay is absolutely disheartening. Security should be seen as putting the students’ comfort and safety at the top of their list of priorities. Officers should use warnings or even try to contact vehicle owners before issuing tickets that include fines. Students and officers should work together to combat miscommunications and to make parking simple and enjoyable for all parties.