Parking Photo Illustration

Visitors and students find themselves either walking long distances to campus or risking receiving a ticket for parking without a permit.

In recent years, the parking situation at the University of Memphis has been a reoccurring issue, yet certain issues may be resolved when the University of Memphis holds its hearing on parking and traffic rules Nov. 18 at 9 a.m. in the University Center.

The hearing will take place in Beale Room 363, and members of the public are invited to join. The hearing on parking and traffic will help make new rules for anyone coming to campus, especially those unaffiliated with the university and are just visiting.

John Michael Ryall, the assistant university counsel in the office of legal counsel, said because the parking rule affects outside affiliates of the university, rule-making must be involved when creating new parking and traffic rules.

“Other schools already have parking rules in place, such as (the University of) Tennessee, Austin Peay and, I believe, Tennessee Tech has theirs in place,” Ryall said. “This isn’t anything really new. It’s really just our policy that affects third party individuals that makes us have to take this up through rule-making.”

The process does take time, as Ryall said it could take anywhere between six months to a year to put all rules in action due to a variety of stages that the rules must go through first before being finalized.

“Before it can get approved through rule-making, it has to get approval from the board of trustees, and it goes through a policy review board here at the university,” Ryall said. “This is made up of a bunch of different departments to try to hit as many individuals as possible on campus. Once it goes through that, it goes through the hearing that will be next week.”

Ryall said after the rules become official during the hearing, they go to the state of Tennessee and are heard by a committee, where they pose questions on the rule before it becomes the UofM’s official rule.

With the hearing to be held on campus, students and third-party individuals have talked about what parking and traffic rules could be discussed at the hearing.

UofM alumni Olajuwon Salami said he would like to discuss having parking spaces for people without parking passes so that there would not be confusion or fear of getting a ticket from parking services. Having received a ticket in the past for parking in a space that required a permit, Salami said the university should consider creating spaces that are reasonably close to campus for non-permit holders.

“I can guess that about 30% of the people that are on campus throughout the day aren’t students or faculty but are guests to the university to conduct business or visit,” Salami said. “Why should we be subject to having to park in distant locations or fight to park in the few non-marked areas surrounding campus?”

With arguably more students and traffic coming through the university every day, next week’s hearing may provide solutions to the parking situation on campus.

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