Opinion: A facelift needed for parking ticket machines


A parking ticket machine in lot A near the automotive department on campus. This one of several malfunctioning machines on campus. (Photo by Nicholas Corey)

Nicholas Corey

Students who drive to American River College have all felt the scorn of parking on campus.

From the prompt not being displayed for accepting your fee, to eating dollars and coins at will, the stadium lot and other ticket machines on campus need an overhaul.

Sergeant Michael Olson of the Los Rios District Police Department (LRDPD) advocated for police notification by phone and if the situation demands it then its assistance will be provided.

This assistance will only come to students that have taken the time to try every machine in their immediate area.

Usually when I’m driving to school it takes roughly 15 minutes to park and get to my class. This makes it unrealistic to think a student can make a call, wait for assistance, and still make it to class on time.

Due to the time restraint students feel the need to gamble and rely on the hope that they don’t receive a ticket as they sit in class.

Olson explained how most of the failures with the parking ticket machines are from the hot weather overheating its system or from operator failures.

Olson’s interpretation of operator errors concerned the condition of the cash more than the operator themselves.

For example, a coin could get jammed down its shoot or the dollar bills could be sticky or wet.

ARC can make the machines more user friendly by remodeling them and installing a credit card receptacle.

The LRDPD can also make exceptions, like for this summers Earth Day festival they allowed free parking to the public.

If they can make exceptions to the public for special circumstances like Earth Day, the police should be able to help students.

Another solution is if the LRDPD had a sectioned off portion of a parking lot to monitor specific cars.

They cars would not be allowed to leave that specified lot until the student has provided the police with a parking pass with that days date on it.
Sgt. Olson reiterated that the LRDPD does enforce their parking laws 24/7  but are aware of the difficulties on students during the first few weeks of each semester.