Faculty, staff, and students may get a surprise in the form of a ticket on their windshield when they park at Our Lady of Peace.
According to Mike Finegan, chief of Campus Safety, Our Lady of Peace (OLP) is not Marywood property, and therefore anyone with a Marywood parking permit is forbidden to park on that property.
“We don’t want legitimate visitors of Our Lady of Peace to think twice before going up there because they may get a ticket,” he said, explaining that it is hard for officers to know whether the cars are legitimate visitors of Our Lady of Peace or are just looking for a convenient place to park.
He added that security officers sometimes have to void tickets because those with a Marywood permit argue that they are there to eat at The Bistro, shop at the gift store, or visit someone.
Finegan said he has been in constant communication with administration at Our Lady of Peace to find ways to monitor the parking situation. So far, all efforts, which have included posting a regular security guard in the lot, ticketing, and adding signage, seemed only to cause more problems.
“As long as there is unfettered access to that lot we will continue to have people park there because it is convenient,” he said.
Sr. Mary Helen, director of Heart Works, said that she has had to deal with tickets in the OLP gift shop where she works.
“We had three people bring in tickets,” she said. “One worked here and two were customers.”
She said that the parking situation is hurting her business. “One [customer] said she would not be coming back,” she added.
She explained that if students would just not park in the lot, there would no longer be a problem or a need to ticket those who are visiting.
Although Finegan said that they do not want to discourage people from visiting Our Lady of Peace, for now, he said campus safety will continue patrolling the lot and citing cars with a Marywood permit when they see them.
“It just hasn’t worked out because too many people are getting ticketed who are in the [Our Lady of Peace] building,” he said.