Back-to-back snowstorms wreaked havoc on parking Jan. 7. WSU’s Parking Services issued 142 tickets the first day of Spring Semester, 22 of which were issued for blocking another parked vehicle.
Those arriving to campus early that morning to snag a parking spot found themselves arriving to ice and snow covered lots. Weston Woodward with Facilities Management Administration and his entire crew were out in full-force during Sunday’s storm to prepare for the return of Weber State students, faculty and staff, as well as the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Lindquist Hall.
“We were hit hard Sunday,” Woodward said, and although it was all hands on deck at 3 a.m. to clear pathways and parking, the snow came down hard around 5 a.m., causing an excessive problem with cars being blocked in by other vehicles in lots W4, W5, W8, A2 and A7.
Parking lots were chaotic as students who had arrived at campus in the early morning hours were attempting to leave. According to a requested report provided by Parking Services 37 calls were received from individuals who were blocked in by other vehicles. “I couldn’t get out,” student Taylor Gladwell said, who was reportedly told if she didn’t move in the next few minutes, she was going to be towed.
Parking Services enforcement staff were instructed to forgo giving tickets to vehicles outside the lines of a parking stall first thing in the morning as they were not visible. Student Jaya Solis, however, quoted a Parking Services employee as saying, “We don’t know who arrived first, so we had to ticket everybody.”
WSU police officer’s Brenchley and Gutierrez responded to four motor assist calls; two needing assistance with being blocked in, one needing a push after getting stuck, and one who had locked her keys in her vehicle. Student Amanda Smith did not call WSUPD for assistance when she became stuck at 7:40 a.m. but rather freed herself and parked in a different lot.
Officer Brenchley had captured body camera footage of blocked vehicles three deep in the W8 parking lot at 10:46 a.m. Parking Services requests that students, faculty and staff be observant when they arrive to park. If pulling into a legitimate spot will block another vehicle, it is suggested to follow the current parking pattern.
“I parked next to people in a row,” said Jeny Ann, a student who received a $16 ticket for blocking another vehicle as did 21 others. Currently, Parking Services is looking at 20 appeals for tickets issued on Jan. 7. In Instances where it was unclear which vehicle was responsible, a waiver was applied for tickets by the hearings officer.
Eight days after the mass issuance of tickets on the first day of spring semester, six appealed tickets have been approved, and 47 tickets have been paid, leaving 89 tickets undetermined.
This is Woodward’s fourth winter with Weber’s facilities management, and he is also serves on the parking committee. Woodward and his crew track storms in conjunction to the campus schedule one to two weeks in advance to prepare for the removal of snow and ice. Weber State has a contract with Cap Construction to aid facilities management when snow accumulation is over 4 inches, however, Cap mainly focuses solely on the Dee Events Center.
With 16 people in land management and facilities to work both Ogden and Davis campuses, “I’m grateful to be able to be of service and work with good people,” Woodward said.