Parking tickets decreased during tournament

Shawntaye Hopkins

Despite frustrations, more cars and fewer parking spaces did not equal more tickets during the Sun Belt Conference tournament.

Capt. Mike Wallace said there were fewer parking tickets given out on the Monday and Tuesday of the tournament than would have been given on an ordinary Monday and Tuesday.

On March 10 and 11, which was during the Sun Belt tournament, there were a total of 313 tickets given. On Feb. 11 and 12, also a Monday and Tuesday, there were a total of 463 tickets given.

Wallace said the police department tried to be as lenient as possible, unless there were safety hazards.

“We were just trying to help people the best we could to accommodate for an unusual situation,” he said.

Yet, no matter how many tickets were given or what parking alternatives were available, several students still showed dissatisfaction.

Columbia junior Kim Samuell went home over the weekend and was faced with the challenge of parking when she returned Monday.

“It (upsets) me … because we have to pay to park here to begin with,” Samuell said the day after the tournament ended. “I’m still in the gravel lot, and the only reason I got a spot there is because I lucked out and someone was leaving.”

Wallace said the biggest “crunch” for parking was on Monday and Tuesday.

With more alternatives available next year, parking during the Sun Belt tournament should be considerably easier for students, Wallace said.

He said next year more parking will be available in the renovated Creason Street and Diddle Arena parking lots.

This year, parking was available to students at the Center Street lot and Capitol lot. Last minute arrangements were also made for parking in a leased lot across the street from the parking structure.

“Most people were able to be accommodated,” Wallace said.

Bowling Green resident Derek Howard, a former Western student, understood giving guests a place to park but felt students should have been given more alternatives.

He attended the championship game and parked his car in the parking structure on Tuesday.

“The parking situation in general is kind of bad here,” Howard said. “Students need some other solution other than just displacing the students.”

Reach Shawntaye Hopkins at [email protected]