Gramling, parking system’s bugs repaired
Published: Thursday, April 19, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2012 06:04
While a recent article by the UT chapter of the American Association of University Professors highlighted issues with the university parking system, administrators defended its integrity.
The article, entitled “UT Parking Blunders,” was published in an email sent to the organization detailing an incident in which a faculty member was wrongfully ticketed for parking in a lot they were registered to park in.
“I filed an appeal and I don’t plan to pay the fine,” the faculty member said in the email. “However, it concerns me that this is the first time in seven years that I have received a parking ticket, which indicates to me a failure in their new parking system.”
Harvey Wolff, president of UT–AAUP, said this article and several like it have been published because his organization received complaints this year from faculty, staff and students.
“It was clear that the parking system wasn’t up and running [at the beginning of the year] and it’s still not working,” he said.
Joy Gramling, director of auxiliary services, said this charge is not correct.
“The system isn’t malfunctioning – the system is working,” she said.
Wolff said his biggest qualm with the situation is what he describes as a “lack of communication.”
Gramling said she was “surprised” by the content of the article and added that this complaint and all others she has seen have been resolved in a “timely manner.”
She said the recent problems have been the result of an unregistered permit in Lot 1S.
To explain the details of the mistake, Gramling had to describe the intricacies of UT’s unique parking system.
The system regulates the variety of parking permits offered by the university, including commuter C passes and faculty A permits. These permits are broken down even further; an A permit comes in 16 different varieties.
In total, the program recognizes 67 different types of permits which must be applied to each of the 165 parking lots on campus depending on the lots’ permit regulations.
Gramling said the sheer amount of information, all of which had to be manually applied to each lot, contributed to some of these “oversight[s].”
“I’m not a computer – I make mistakes,” Gramling said. “Overall, we’ve done what we’ve set out to accomplish.”
Wolff described this explanation as “a possibility.”
“It’s hard to tell – there still seems to be some issues,” he said.
Wolff added that the UT–AAUP may have filed complaints before the university had the opportunity to respond to the violations.
Gramling said only two lots lacked proper representation this year, the other resulting in an incident in which Gramling herself was improperly ticketed in Lot 25 in front of Rocket Hall.
She said this was because last semester, Lot 25 was opened to faculty members for parking mid-semester and she forgot to register A permits.
“First day out, guess whose car got ticketed,” she said. “It was then that I realized I needed to add the 16 A permits to the rest of the lot.”
She had to file through the Parking Enforcement Office “like everyone else.”
Although she addressed these A permit discrepancies, Gramling said many of the student complaints are generally a result of human error, like improperly registering a vehicle or expecting to be seen as a “parking exception.”
Gramling also said the majority of feedback her department has received about the system has been positive.
Wolff said he remains unsatisfied with the resolution of some complaints, including some he said were filed by retired faculty members.
Those with comments or questions on the parking system can send an email detailing their views to firstname.lastname@example.org.