Vehicles without permits escape tickets at Playland
Published: Monday, September 24, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 24, 2012 18:09
The overflow parking lot at Playland Park, 2222 N. Alamo St., is never more than half full, although the capacity is more than 650 and campus police have not been ticketing cars with a college parking permit, security guards say.
On Aug. 27, the area opened to students, faculty and staff with free shuttle rides to campus from the fenced location about a mile and a half away. The shuttles are supposed to run every 15 minutes from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. The lot will remain open until the construction of the new parking garage in finished in roughly a year, Tim Rockey, dean of continuing education training network, who is responsible for parking, said Wednesday.
Construction of the Tobin Hill Lofts at Main Avenue and West Evergreen Street have closed Lot 26 at West Park and North Main avenues, and Lot 31 and Lot 33 at Howard and West Laurel streets.
In addition, parking is limited in Lots 16 near the parking garage off of West Myrtle and Lot 21 by the tennis courts on West Park with the remodeling of Moody Learning Center and expansion of Scobee Planetarium and the addition of the Challenger Learning Center.
Continuing construction has made 450 parking spots inaccessible. To alleviate parking on campus, college officials arranged for parking at the Playland site owned by the district. The lot is unpaved, but spaces are delineated with utility markers. College parking permits are required, but cash-strapped students may have found a loophole in the requirements because two security guards at the location 6:30 a.m.-6 p.m. said checks for the permits aren’t happening.
Josh Barron, a security guard, said Sept. 17 he hadn’t seen any tickets given. “They don’t check for those,” he said.
Rich Borrego, a second security guard on the site, agreed saying, “Yeah, the police say not to worry about them.”
The college website states, “An Alamo Colleges parking permit is necessary to park at this off-campus location.”
It also contrasts with Alamo Colleges police department’s site parking rules and regulations, which states, “All vehicles parked upon the campus shall properly display a current Alamo Colleges Vehicle Registration Tag/Decal.”
“In order to park at the Playland parking location, you need an Alamo Colleges parking permit,” Rockey said, adding the failure to issue tickets on cars with no permits was a “miscommunication” between security guards and police officers and would be addressed.
He also said after a visit on the morning of Sept. 19, “only about 100 cars were in the lot, which fits roughly 700. So that may be a reason the checks aren’t happening.”
Rockey expressed some dismay over the lack of vehicles at the lot, but said he thinks that once more students park there, it will fill to capacity. “It’s growing,” Rockey says. “People are still trying to figure out the parking situation, but the best shot at parking and getting to class on time is at Playland.”
Police did not begin issuing tickets until the week of Sept. 10. Police Deputy Chief Joe Curiel did not return phone calls.