By LINDLEY ESTES
Cars parked in lots around Eagle Landing that aren’t designated for student parking will be towed beginning Oct. 1.
Cars with green decals will be confined to the third, fourth and fifth levels of the Eagle Village parking garage, according to an e-mail sent out to students from the Offices of Public Safety, Parking Services and Residence Life. All student cars on the first and second levels, in the surface lot around the garage, and those parked overnight in the Eagle Village development will also be towed.
The e-mail said towing will be overseen by Thalheimer Property Management, which manages Eagle Village.
Patriot Towing was chosen by Thalheimer to tow student cars. In an e-mail sent out to students, the initial towing fee was set at $65 with a $20 increase each day the car remains unclaimed. A fee of $150 will be charged if the car is left for three or more days.
Many students, who did purchase the $550 green Eagle Landing parking pass, feel that the more expensive pass should allow them more freedom to park where they choose.
Senior Rebecca Forer, a resident of Eagle Landing, was one of many students who purchased the $550 green parking pass.
“I feel like we should be able to park wherever we want,” Forer said. “There’s other parking that visitors could use. It was really expensive and I wish my car could be closer.”
Eagle Landing residents had the option to purchase the $200 yellow residential parking pass instead of the green.
Students with a yellow decal may park on campus in any of the designated yellow lots, according to Parking Management Supervisor David Sing. This also includes the first and second levels of the UMW Parking Deck off of Alvey Drive. Eagle Landing students with yellow decals are not permitted to park in the Eagle Landing Deck.
Sing said there have been multiple complaints from the Fredericksburg community about student parking in the past.
“In addition to staff complaints of students being parked in staff spaces, we receive numerous complaints from the residents surrounding UMW,” Sing said. “Some students elect to park on the public streets in violation of UMW and city regulations.”
Sing said some students park on public streets to avoid paying for a parking decal. Others do so because they want to be closer to their class or residence hall.
Senior Erin Perugini lives in the Stratford Apartments on Jefferson Davis Highway next to Eagle Landing, where all of the visitor parking spaces were recently taken away because students who live on campus were overcrowding the parking lot.
“All summer long I lived here. We had visitor parking and it was fine,” Perugini said. “It all got taken away during the school year.”
Perugini said a lot of people were parking there overnight.
“Sometimes I would come back and even all of the resident spaces were taken by students,” Perugini said. “There was nowhere for me to park.”
According to Perugini, tow trucks come through the Stratford Apartment lot weekly looking for students trying to evade parking fees by using nearby spaces.
Some students, however, are being penalized for parking off campus on the streets where they reside.
Meg Bingham, a junior, lives a block away from campus on Colony Road. She was ticketed last January outside of her own apartment. Neighboring students have had similar problems as well.
“I have a problem with the parking cop giving students tickets who don’t have residential stickers,” Bingham said. “My friends can’t come to visit me [because] they’re afraid of tickets. One of my friends got two. It seems like there are more signs for where you can’t park than where you can.”
The University has made other changes to on-campus parking this year regarding commuter parking.
“We were able to make additional parking available to commuting students, which permits them to park at both ends of campus as well as in the center of campus,” Sing said.
He said additional commuter parking has been added at the Battlefield Athletic Complex in Lot 33, along the fence.
Commuters are also allowed to park on level three of the UMW Parking Deck, according to Sing. The Sunken Road North Lot and the surface lot adjacent to the UMW Parking Deck both allow for commuter parking as well.
The William Street lot at the corner of Sunken Road and William Street has had extra commuter parking installed recently, Sing said.
The Thornton Street Lot as well as College Avenue will remain open to commuter student parking, as they have been previously.
Sing said during fall break, 30 spaces in the Pizza Hut parking lot will be marked for UMW vehicles and will be open for use by any commuter student, as well as any staff member. Red or blue decals will be required to park in this location during the allotted time.
Photo: The yellow parking decal represents one of the options for residential parking. Marie Sicola/Bullet