Out with old, in with the the new parking system?

Campus parking access may require a digital component.

A 10 to 7 majority vote at the Pierce College Council Meeting on Oct. 26 arranged plans to further discuss replacing parking permits with a parking standing system, eliminating the need for physical parking passes on campus.

The idea was presented by the Budget Committee, and PCC agreed to review how, or if, this would be something the campus would implement in the future.

The new system was described as a scanning software that would require students, faculty and visitors who park on campus to input their license plate information online to gain access to parking and to verify that vehicles on campus lots are registered in the system. The council had mixed opinions on whether this procedure would be beneficial to Pierce.

Pierce College Council Committee Vice Chair Patricia Doelitzsch said everything is still up in the air.

“We are under extreme budget cuts, and this vote was the Budget Committee just kind of throwing a bunch of ideas out,” Doelitzsch said. “It would generate a lot for the college, but this vote wasn’t a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to actually do it. It was a vote to send it forward, and say let’s explore the possibilities of it.”

Doelitzsch said the discussion was thought provoking.

“There were some strong opinions in there, and so that’s why the vote was more contentious than a lot of the other ideas,” Doelitzsch said. “Since it passed, it will be interesting to hear what the committee comes up with and how it would be implemented.”

During the discussion, Health Center Director Beth Benne said that the parking system on campus is working, and that the “methodology we have now is our kick.”

Doelitzsch said she was shocked to hear about this possible change to parking.

“I just think it’s a lot for Pierce College. It’s a far deviation from our standard right now,” Doelitzsch said. “My concern is our student population and their access to cars.”

Pierce College Council Chair Brian Walsh said the parking standing system is a way to update the current system.

“I think this would provide a more high technology method of being accountable for parking,” Walsh said.

Doelitzsch said that those using a rental vehicle, or borrowing a car, might be required to update their license plates on the system, and this would be an additional step to remember to avoid being ticketed.

Despite criticism from some members, the council unanimously agreed that the system would bring in more revenue to the parking fund that is used to repair roads and signs. The Budget Committee anticipates an increase in revenue.

“The money it would bring to the campus is much needed as the budget goes down, but we can’t do that to the detriment of our students,” Doelitzsch said.

Doelitzsch said the next course of action for the item is up to the college president to decide, and if she decides to look into this, then the Budget Committee would have to create a task force and present it again to PCC and the Academic Senate.