By Tia Kalmon
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) – Parking is bad on campus, period, for everyone that has a car, but what is parking like from the eyes of someone who writes tickets, is it any different?
Michael Scruggs has been working for UTC’s parking services for 19 years. He is a ticket writer along with 9 others.
“It’s great exercise, though it gets cold sometimes,” Scruggs said.
There may be a lot of tickets given out to illegally parked cars but Scruggs said they teach the ticket writers to not take the job like a parking “psycho.”
“You never know what’s on peoples minds, so we try to be mindful,” Scruggs said.
Best place to park:
To save students time, Scruggs describes the best place to park on campus.
“I would say the best place to park is at Engel Stadium, I know it’s a far walk, but the bus doesn’t take long and there is a security guard that has a specific job to guard just that lot all day, Monday through Friday,” Scruggs said.
Scruggs said parking services does suspend writing tickets when there are events on campus that close lots because that takes away parking from students and they don’t want to do that.
Motorcycles do have specific parking spaces though they are allowed to park in any parking spot that matches the decal they bought and they are allowed to park in any “dead space” in the parking lot.
Most ticketed spots:
Parking services does not require their ticket writers to write a certain number of tickets a month. They just write tickets for cars that are parked illegally or don’t have decals.
“Most get ticketed because they park on the side of a row that really isn’t a parking spot,” Scruggs said. “I know some are going to be mad, but there are some that are happy.”
Scruggs agrees that parking on campus is hard to find. General lots are always full and the reserved lots fill up with cars that are not supposed to be in them.
“They (parking services) are just doing their job, but at the same time it sucks because I get tickets all the time,” Whitney Blake, UTC Junior, said.
“The most ticketed places on campus are by Cadek Hall and in lot 10, by EMCS. Lot 36 (the gravel lot by EMCS and the Challenger Center) has the most cars that get blocked in. A lot of people call to say ‘I’m trapped,’” Scruggs said.
There are cases of students stealing decals especially out of jeeps, Scruggs said. Parking services also finds a lot of handicapped tags that are being misused by students.
Scruggs admits that they do write tickets by mistake sometimes. It happens when the ticket writers are having to write the tickets by hand versus by the hand-held where they can look up the owner of the car in the data base. You can appeal tickets through your My Mocs Net account or at the parking services building.
“It’s a bitter sweet job,” Scruggs said.