New parking software will mean new parking habits for some this summer. Eventually, it will eliminate the need for individual parking decals.
The Department of Parking and Transportation sent out an email Monday afternoon announcing a new parking policy that would go into affect July 1. The email stated that, “backing into or pulling through a parking space will no longer be allowed.”
The new policy is being enacted in preparation for LPR-License Plate Recognition software that will be able to read the license plate of each vehicle and determine if a parking permit has been purchased for that particular zone. Eventually, permits will not be needed, as the license plate will serve as the permit.
“This is the first step of implementing this new software,” Director of Parking and Transportation Mike Harris said.
“This year we make the policies and rules to help it run efficiently and next year we implement the LPR system along with permits as we operate both systems together to make sure they all work properly, then we eliminate the permits altogether the following year,” Harris said.
Shortly after the email was sent out, ASB Special Interest Senator Hunter Story started a change.org petition titled “Help NOT make Ole Miss parking any worse,” which currently has over 1,700 supporters.
“The potential for avoidable wrecks that would take place while trying to park forwards into a small spot for some students as well as the overall prospect of being told how to park is not a well thought out policy for the school to impose in the best interest of current and new students,” the petition reads.
“The pushback was swift,” Story said. “Myself and many other ASB senators felt a petition was the most efficient was to gauge the level of distaste and use that platform as a tool in getting the university to correct this policy mis-step.”
Students are not the only ones upset with the change.
Electrical engineering professor Matthew Morrison posted on Facebook an email that he sent to UM Parking Services regarding the policy.
In his email, Morrison asks the UM Parking Commission to reconsider the new policy and “seek a more effective policy which still enables the implementation of LRP.”
This is a developing story.