The Overture requested an interview with Paul Smith, Parking Enforcement supervisor at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), to discuss issues brought up in ‘No Parking.’

Smith, via email,  directed us to email a list of questions he could respond to ‘via the university’s Office of Communication,’ which he said was a requirement for all media inquiries at UTD.

We received a response email to our questions from Assistant Vice President of Business Affair for Environmental Health Safety and Business Services James Wright II, although we are not certain if the answers come directly from him.

Is it true that the Parking & Transportation revenue only comes from passes and citations and not out of the student fees each student is assessed per semester?

No, the Parking and Transportation revenue is derived from three sources: selling of parking permits, citations, and the transportation fee paid by students each semester.

What do students get out of this revenue? For example, the green colored parking in Lot B is unpaved and full of pot holes; does the revenue not go towards maintenance?

The ticketing process at UT Dallas serves to protect the privileges of those who have purchased a permit and is not utilized as a method to generate revenue. P&T is an important auxiliary service that is self-supporting.

The amount generated funds the Comet Cruisers, system-wide Dart Passes, parking & transportation services, some police services, and maintenance of over 6000 parking spaces. Due to the vast space, upgrades to parking lots are scheduled on a stagger basis to accommodate for events and availability of resources.

The loop road that the City of Richardson approved the bond for is one reason we have been told for not fixing the green parking in Lot B. Is this correct? If so, when can we expect to have this road built?

Lot B upgrades will be completed in conjunction with the construction of the loop road. UT Dallas is currently working through the loop road development process and construction phases should be underway by this fall.

Will you be putting metered spaces next to the Student Services Building (SSB)?

We are currently developing a plan to upgrade our existing parking meter equipment with new high-technology devices. These devices will be located where meters are presently

and where meters have been in the past, behind the Student Union (SU) and the Student Services Building (SBB).

The online system, called ‘Myparking’, has issues with allowing students to purchase permits or pay citations on it. Students complain that paid citations are often not updated as paid after using the online system and sometimes while in the process of paying the site will either refresh or just not respond once they have entered their credit card details, so they have no idea whether the fine is paid or not. Are improvements going to be made to the reliability of the site?

Yes, we continue to work with the vendor to improve the reliability of the site.

There were 160 visitor spaces added to Lot I, near the Conference Center (CN), but they continually stand open save for possibly 5 or so cars parked in them. Students understand needing visitor parking, but do not understand why so many were taken up if they are not actually used. A handful of colored spots were added in the visitor section, but that lot still stands nearly empty every day. Can you justify the necessity of so many visitor spaces?

The university issues 250-300 visitor passes on average per day. We are now beginning to host events with 1,000+ visitors on a regular basis. We are currently developing both a new Visitor Parking Policy and a new Special Events Parking Policy. These policies will greatly reduce the amount of visitors who currently park in student, faculty, and staff lots.

Parking levels in Lot I was reallocated in response to student requests. Where there were 155 spaces reserved for visitors, we reduced that to 62.

By reassigned these spaces to Green, Gold, and Orange/Evening Orange, students now have access to an additional 93 spaces.

*This is in addition to adjacent Lot ‘I’, which was newly constructed last summer providing 311 new spaces in this same area.

Do visitors pay to park? If not, will a policy be instituted to make them pay and if so, how will the fees be scheduled?

Close-in paid parking will continue to be an option in metered areas which are available for anyone’s use. This option will continue to be evaluated for feasibility.

How come students/ staff with gold parking permits may park in green spaces but those with green permits may not park in gold spaces? The people with gold who park in green often do so because there are no free gold spaces but that leaves the people with green passes to have even less choices of where to park.

The parking permit structure at UT Dallas has successfully been in place for many decades. Anyone purchasing a color-coded permit may park at the level purchased or lower. Those who purchase permits at a higher level pay more for the privilege and can

park at that level or lower. At any given time, there is campus parking available for each of the five permits types offered. Please consider using Lots ‘A’ & ‘B’ on the east side of campus. These lots provide parking with less than a 10 minute walk to any classroom or office on campus.

Do you sell more passes than there are parking spaces to accommodate? If so, do you have documentation to show there is no correlation between the overselling of the permits with people being unable to find spaces, i.e., do you have justification for this as a sound business practice?

Currently, there are more than 1,000 spaces unused at any given time in Lots A and B. These lots offer Remote, Green, Gold, Orange, Evening Orange, and Purple parking. These under-utilized lots also offer convenient parking, as no space on the main campus is further than a 10 minute walk to any classroom or office.

A student, who lives in Waterview, had more than 3 tickets added to his account and then a hold placed on the account to prevent him from registering because his girlfriend’s visitor pass expired and all the tickets she received was placed onto his account. The girlfriend is not an affiliated student, but was on record as his visitor. The parking policy, per, is to impound a vehicle after 3 business days if it has accumulated 3 consecutive unpaid citations. Is there a policy that allows the office of Parking & Transportation to make a student legally liable for someone else’s parking tickets? Is the impoundment policy not being enforced?

Parking and Transportation declines to respond in the media to individual cases but welcomes an individual meeting with each party involved. This option became a part of our customer service model during the 2010-11 academic year. If you would like to help resolve these complaints, please ask the individuals to contact us at 972-883-2344 or to arrange for a meeting.

Why are students allowed to park without permits up until census day and then parking is enforced? Students who buy their parking passes at the beginning of the semester find they are unable to park because of spaces taken by students who haven’t yet purchased the permits but are not being ticketed for it. The students who bought their permits at the beginning of the semester believe this is an unfair and uneven enforcement of the policy.

As stated on our website, a grace period is available at the beginning of each semester to allow students time to buy parking permits. The grace period starts the first day of class and ends on Census Day. Free parking during the grace period is only available in the remote and green parking areas.

Purple, Orange, and Gold are enforced from Day 1 of classes. This policy does not negatively affect available parking in any area.

Please see our website for further enforcement hours at

A student was given a citation for parking without a permit in motorcycle parking after purchasing and affixing their permit to the back of their rear view mirror, as the instructions on the permit indicated they do for proper display for the parking enforcement officers. The picture the parking enforcement officer took of the vehicle was of the license plate, not of the area where the permit was displayed. This is a single recent instance of a problem that every student interviewed has encountered. Why are the students who work as parking enforcement officers either not trained to look in the location students are told to place the permits for proper display, or not taking pictures of these areas to prove they did look there and not see one displayed?

Effective immediately, we will work to educate riders about correct permit placement

A student, during her freshman year (she is now a junior), parked in an orange spot while only having a gold pass and received a citation. She explained to the parking office that she is 80% color blind and made a mistake because she cannot see the difference between orange and yellow, and gave them a document from her physician that affirmed she was legally colorblind. This student said that a month later she saw the spaces she had been ticketed in be spray painted with the name of the color that they were painted, which made her question if UTD was previously not in compliance with handicap access laws and her ticket should have been dismissed. The office denied her appeal and she was made to pay for the citation. Are legal handicaps not a legitimate appeal for parking tickets? Was the school previously not in compliance with handicap access laws before spray painting spaces with the name of the color they were painted?

ADA laws are mandated and have always been followed by UT Dallas, but Parking and Transportation declines to respond in the media to specific instances but welcome an individual meeting with each party involved. This option became a part of our customer service model during the 2010-11 academic year. If you would like to help resolve these complaints, please ask the individuals to contact us at 972-883-2344 or to arrange for a meeting.