University of Iowa puts in place new parking rates, violations

The changes include new types of violations and eliminating some redundant passes.


Dimia Burrell

A parking meter is seen outside of the University of Iowa West Campus Transportation Center in Iowa City on Wednesday, March 2, 2022.

Kate Perez, News Reporter

The University of Iowa has put in place new parking rates and violations for fiscal 2023, which add new parking violation tickets and remove some redundant passes.

The new rates, violations, and sanctions were approved by the state Board of Regents on Feb. 23 when they approved the consent agenda.

The changes include:

  • Changing the Surface Night pass price from $378 to $372
  • Changing the student Night and Weekend pass from $90 to $45
  • Eliminating the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics 3- and 7-Day Patient Ramp Passes and creating a $30 UIHC visitor parking pass booklet in its place
  • Eliminating the 20-pass exit pass booklet
  • Eliminating the Iowa City and Coralville 20 ride bus passes with and without parking and replacing them with 10 ride bus passes instead
  • Creating a $25 concurrent parking violation
  • Creating a $15 License Plate Obscured violation
  • Creating a $15 License Plate Not Facing Lane violation

Associate Director of UI parking and transportation Erin Shane said most of the changes, like the elimination of the three and seven-day UIHC passes, were to remain consistent with the university and remove unnecessary passes.

Shane said that the passes were a UIHC validation program that didn’t work with the university’s updated parking equipment, which prompted the creation of the UIHC visitor parking pass booklet.

“It’s actually a much better solution for everybody because the three and seven-day pass was a little bit of an auditing loophole and nightmare to track on both parties on both sides,” Shane said. “UIHC sells those, we don’t, so that’s where that one came from. It was a great solution and actually works better for the visitors.”

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Iowa City did a transit study that led to the decision to eliminate the 20 ride Iowa City and Coralville bus passes, Shane said.

“[Iowa City] wanted to be more consistent and be more flexible, I believe at a more competitive price for their customers,” Shane said. “They [Iowa City and Coralville] both agreed to just offer the 10 ride and on their behalf, we sell those.”

Maryam Mohammed, a UI first-year student, said she lives off-campus and depends on the Iowa City bus system to get her to campus every day. Mohammed said that she purchased her bus pass through the university and thinks the change to make prices cheaper is good for all people.

“I’m a little bit of the opinion that bus transportation should be free, but I think having those short passes be a little cheaper makes it a little bit more affordable for people who can’t always front over $20 at a time,” Mohammed said.

Mohammed said the addition of the short-term bus passes would be more beneficial for when she goes into Iowa City for a short period of time to get items such as groceries versus a year-long pass.

“I think it’s particularly helpful with the short-term ones because if you purchase for the entire year, it gets kind of expensive, especially if you put that upfront,” Mohammed said. “I think having the few bus ride passes is really good.”

The university has also added new license plate recognition equipment, Shane said. One problem the changes seek to correct is removing complicated citation language to better communicate and enforce violations.

“We do have a citation that we can print out on our enforcement officers’ printers that says ‘other,’ but that does nothing for the customer because they still have no idea why they got a ticket,” Shane said.

Shane said that people will sometimes intentionally block their license plates with paper or cardboard, which is what prompted the license plate obstruction violation.

The issue of concurrent parking and people sharing permits also arose, Shane said, which is when multiple vehicles that are registered to one parking account or permit are found parked in the same lot at the same time.

The new $25 fine is what Shane said she considers a “middle-of-the-road approach.”

“It was something we were seeing, and I think half of it was innocent, half of it was just sharing and we do try to mitigate the sharing, but the innocent part was, ‘Oh, I didn’t realize I couldn’t put my husband’s plate on my permit, or I actually have two permits,’” Shane said.

Jordan Granera, a UI first-year student who keeps his car at Lot 38, said he worries about something blocking his license plate and being unable to go remove it.

“At Lot 38, there’s no bus that goes there specifically, so sometimes it’s really difficult or impossible to get to my car,” Granera said. “If it snows and there’s something obstructing my control, I can’t do anything about that.”

Shane said with lots like Lot 38 or the Hawk Lot, the university understands that with violations like mother nature blocking a plate, students may not return to their cars for days or weeks at a time.

“If we have an issue, and whatever it is they don’t have a permit, obscured [license], whatever, we might have to issue a citation,” Shane said. “But if we come back the next day, our officers have the ability to acknowledge to stop, don’t issue citations every single day because the poor kid hasn’t come out there.”

Shane added that if there is a problem, the UI parking and transportation front desk reaches out to the student and works out the problem at hand.

“It is my priority to work that out because that’s not fair,” Shane said. “The issue is still there, but the issue shouldn’t be there every single day because of the frequency that they address their car.”