Campus Police and Parking Office have been aggressively enforcing parking regulations on Amherst and Danforth streets as well as the Kresge parking lot to provide open parking spaces to Amherst permit holders who live in nearby residence halls. The result has been a dramatic decrease in the number of illegally parked cars in these areas.
The installation of additional signs and the regular presence of tow trucks have deterred many from illegally parking in these locations. At the beginning of the program in October, six cars on average were towed during the day shift; that number is now down to one.
However, there is still a problem with illegally parked cars at night, when as many as 15 cars have to be towed. This usually occurs when there is an event that attracts people not familiar with the MIT campus.
Campus Police and the Parking Office are working with the Campus Activities Complex to develop a requirement that all event planners will have to make parking arrangements based on expected attendance. The Parking Office will review these events to ensure that attendees will have enough places to park without encroaching on the residential parking spaces.
"We have to do a better job of informing people who will attend events on campus where they can and cannot park," said John McDonald,director of the Parking and Transportation Office. "We don't want people to come to MIT and see a great show or concert, only to come outside and find that their car was towed. That doesn't leave a favorable impression."
Another parking issue involves vehicles that park outside of designated parking spaces and in fire lanes or drive aisles. "This poses a significant threat to life and property safety on campus, and we have to remove any vehicle that could interfere with the maneuvering of emergency vehicles," said Lieutenant Paul Baratta of the Campus Police. "Just one emergency vehicle that can't get to its destination could have serious consequences."
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 15, 1999.