Wednesday, April 30, 2008

History of a Parking Ticket

In 1926 American merchants listed downtown traffic congestion as their most serious difficulty. Unenforced curbside parking and lack of off-street parking facilities were listed as the primary problems. Customers went where they could park.

During the great depression city revenues dwindled. With parking meters, however, a new source of municipal revenue was found. Not only did the nickels paid in by parkers accumulate, but so did the fines imposed for over parking. By 1944, American cities were generating some $10 million annually from parking meters alone. Soon after came meter maids, who were paid less than police officers, to increase city revenues.[citation needed] Complex parking rules, restrictions and regulations are now an integral part of modern life and landscape.

Typically a ticket is placed on a vehicle when the owner or driver is not present. There is no place for a signature, and in California the registered owner cannot be charged with a misdemeanor or other criminal offense for ignoring a ticket. A letter will usually be sent prior to any punitive action. Most jurisdictions, however, will have sanctions such as refusal to allow renewal of license plates if the owner of the vehicle has unpaid parking tickets. In some jurisdictions, such as New York City, a vehicle may be towed if it has overdue parking fines exceeding a specified balance. In many jurisdictions, such as Boston, vehicles with numerous outstanding parking citations are subject to booting.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Extra Parking Lot?

Will it ever come to this here at MHC?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Student Summer Parking

Summer is coming! I know, its hard to image with finals approaching quickly that summer is right around the corner, but it is!

So with this in mind, here is where you should park your vehicle during the summer-

I am a student and I will be here during the summer, where can I park?
You may park in the designated student parking spaces. Your decal will expire 5/31/2008, but you are still allowed to park in the student areas. Do NOT park in a Faculty/Staff space since students may never park in these spaces.

I am a student and I will NOT be here during the summer, where can I leave my car?
You may *NOT* leave your vehicle on campus while you are away from campus over the summer. If vehicles appear to be inactive, it will be removed at the owners expense from campus. Please use a local storage facility or bring your vehicle home while away for the summer.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Parking at the Equestrian Ctr

We hear a common question here at the Parking Office about the Equestrian Center parking lot. Well, I'm here to help out and answer a couple of those questions here. So, here we go......

I have a resident student decal, can I park at the Equ Ctr?

Yes, only in the student parking area along the hill. The resident student decal allows you to park in the designated student spaces at this location.
If I have an Equ Ctr Student Decal, where can I park?
You may park at the Equ Ctr student spaces *ONLY*. The decal is only good for this parking lot and a cheaper alternative to the all resident decal.

Please be aware that there is an employee parking lot at the bottom of the hill for the staff that work at this location. We would appreciate students remain out of these spaces and to help avoid a ticket since students may *NEVER* park in a faculty/staff parking space.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

MA RMV Changes

The MA RMV is adding new services to its website.

People who want to know their auto registration status (including whether they have any outstanding parking tickets that would block renewal) can now check online.

So can people who want to know the status of a title or a lien. The same for teens who want to know if the Registry has receive their driver's education certificate.

This is to help people get out of line and get online.

Driving Photo Collage

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

American "Idle"ing

Do your share for clean air — Turn off your engine when waiting!

Exhaust fumes from gasoline and diesel engines contain harmful pollutants including nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, and fine particles that can make it difficult to breathe, cause resiratory infections and chronic bronchitis, and trigger asthma attacks. Unnecessary idling also wastes fuel and releases greenhouse gases contributing to global warming.

Massachusetts Anti-Idling Law prohibits unnecessary vehicle idling, requiring that the engine be shut down if the vehicle will be stopped for more than five minutes. There are three exceptions: (1) when the vehicle is being repaired and idling is necessary to make the repair; (2) the vehicle is making deliveries and needs to keep its engine running (e.g., to power refrigerators); or (3) the vehicles accessory equipment needs to be powered (e.g., to defrost your windshield while actively clearing off snow and ice). Leaving your car running to let the heater warm it up or air conditioning cool it down is considered unnecessary idling.

In order to reduce the health and environmental effects of vehicle exhaust, comply with the state's idling reduction regulation and law, and decrease fuel use - please limit idling to five minutes in campus and personal vehicles.

For more environmental tips, check out the Environmental Health & Safety website.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Bicycle Registration


All bicycles on campus must be registered with Public Safety via the Parking Office. Registration is *FREE* and can be done Monday - Friday, 8:30am-4pm at the Parking Office located in Central Services.

Bicycles in violation of the college's bicycle policy that is unregistered or with an expired decal are considered abandoned.

Please register your bicycle so Public Safety does not have to confiscate & discard your bike! Please register before you leave for the semester by 5/31/2008. Thank you!

At the time of registration, please provide the make, model, serial number, color, style, number of speeds and value if known.

Enjoy the warmer weather!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Handicap Permits

Around campus, there are several handicap parking spots, but sometimes there seems there isn't enough. This is why Public Safety enforces the rules & regulations so frequently in those spaces so those who require close parking to a building is able to achieve that goal. The fine on those tickets reflect the states fine of $100.

Please do not pull into these spaces & put your flashers on if you do not have a pass to park in a HP Space. Even though your are running in quickly into a building, you are still taking up a space that is intended for someone who has a permit to park there. You never know who will be driving by looking for a space while you are inside.

If I am a student, how do I obtain a temporary HP parking pass?
Since you are a student, you have access to the Health Center for any medical need. We require a letter from the H.C. that can verify you are in need of a temporary HP hang tag. On this letter it will have your name and a date range for the pass. Also, the vehicle you will be using for the HP hang tag needs to be registered with the Parking Office.

If I am an employee, how to I obtain temporary HP parking pass?
Please have your doctor's office fax (or you may bring one in) to the parking office verifying you are in need of a temporary HP hang tag. This letter must be on letter head with your name and date range for the pass. Also, the vehicle you will be using for the HP hang tag needs to be registered with the Parking Office.

What if I have a state placard and I am a student or employee?
If you have a state placard, you do not need to get a HP hang tag from the parking office. You must register with the parking office for a decal to follow regular parking regulations.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Don't Park on the Grass!

Please do not park on the grass!

Sometimes you may not even realize that you are parked on the lawn, but please be aware where your tires end up after you park. Or if that area near a building looks like a good spot to pull off so you can run in, please don't!

The Facilities crew works so hard to make this campus so beautiful, we don't like to see vehicles parked on the grass. This is also a ticketable offence, so if the officers drive by and notice a vehicle on the lawn, it will be ticketed (or towed).

Thanks for understanding! Since the snow it gone, the birds are singing and the grass is coming back to life; we just want to enjoy the perks of the warmer weather and help out Facilities with their green thumbs!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Don't Get Towed Away!

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There is nothing worse then coming out of a building to find out that your car has been towed away because of tickets.

If you receive a ticket for parking on campus, please *DO NOT* ignore it. Contact the parking office to find out how to resolve your parking issues before it gets to the point that your vehicle may be towed away because of the amount of tickets you have for your vehicle.

If you are a visitor and have 3 or more tickets for your vehicle, you may be towed away. To avoid this situation, please contact the parking office to see how to remedy this situation.

Always remember, your host can obtain a *FREE* visitor pass to help avoid receiving tickets!

If you are a student and have received notification from the parking office that your vehicle has been banned from being able to park on campus, you may be towed away.

We don't like to ticket, so please park correctly so we don't have to issue any fines!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

15 Min VS. 2 Hour Parking

What are the 15 minute spaces intended for?
There are a handful of 15 minute spaces spread around campus. These spaces are intended for brief parking that allows you to run into a building to collect your mail, obtain your one card, or apply for a parking decal.

These spaces are for students, faculty, staff and visitor vehicles.

What are the 2 hour visitor spaces intended for?
There are several 2 hour parking spaces around campus. These spaces are *ONLY* for visitors to the campus who need to conduct business in Skinner, who want to visit the Art Museum or walk the track at Kendall.

These spaces are *NOT* for students (including 5-College Students), faculty and staff vehicles.

These spaces are *ONLY* for visitors to the campus who will be here under 2 hours. If a visitor will be here longer then 2 hours, a visitor pass must be obtained at the parking office (its *FREE*).

Monday, April 14, 2008

Program Your Phone

The parking hotline is 413-538-2514. We suggest that you program this phone number into

your cell phone for easy access. Please keep in mind that the office is only open from 8:30am-4:00pm.

If you need parking advise after hours, please call Public Safety at 413-538-2304. We also suggest that you program this phone number into your cell phone for many other reasons other then parking. Public Safety is "open" 24/7.

You never know when a parking question or problem may arise, so take action ahead of time and be prepared for that moment!

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Friday, April 11, 2008

All Bicycles need to be Registered!

If you have a bicycle on campus, it needs to be registered with the parking office. Its *FREE* and painless (well, as long as you provide all the information). After registration, you will receive a decal that is to be placed on the bike for identification purposes.

The reason we require all bikes to be registered is to help with tracking down your bike if it is missing (or misplaced) & identify that the bike belongs to someone on campus.

If you fail to register your bicycle, it may result in removal of the bike from campus. The college has limited bicycle storage & must remove unregistered bikes from campus.

If you purchased or obtained a bicycle from someone who has graduated, you must re-register the bike under your name & obtain a new decal.

The information we need in order to register is:
Serial Number off of the bike
Model Color
Your CID# off of your one card

Thursday, April 10, 2008

How to get off campus?

There is roughly 6 weeks left to the semester, but if you have already checked out and is ready to head home (or any other destination) after exams, here is some helpful tips as you plain to head off campus.

If I have a car, can I leave it on campus?
No. Vehicles cannot be stored/left on campus over the summer months. There are storage facilities in the area who do store vehicles for a fee. A recommended company is Community Self Storage Inc in South Hadley, MA (413-552-0300). If you would like other listings, here is a link to MA storage facilities -

How do I get to the Airport or Train Station?
At this time, the college does not provide transportation to the airport or train station. You may try local transportation companies to get you there. We suggest Valley Transporter.

How do I get to the Bus Station?
Usually, Peter Pan adds extra shuttles towards the end of the semester to help transport you to your destination. Please check with Peter Pan to see if in fact they will continue to pick people up on Rt 116, near the Village Commons at the end of the semester.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A little parking humor!

Here in parking, its not always about the serious rules & regs of parking. So, here is a little humor that was found and I wanted to share with you. It was found on


I pulled into a crowded parking lot and rolled down the car windows to make sure my Labrador retriever had fresh air. She was stretched out on the back seat, and I wanted to impress upon her that she must remain there. I walked to the curb backward, pointing my finger at the car and saying emphatically, "Now you stay. Do you hear me? Stay!"

The driver of a nearby car gave me a startled look. "I don't know about you, lady," he said incredulously. "But I usually just put my car in park."

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Faculty/Staff Parking Areas

If you are driving through campus and notice an empty Faculty/Staff space near your dorm, please think twice before pulling in to park there while you run inside. If you do not have a permit to park there, you are not allowed to be there.

Here are some frequent questions regarding the F/S parking spaces-

I am a Faculty/Staff member, where can I park?
You must register with the Parking Office and you will then receive a parking permit for any Faculty/Staff space on campus.

I am a Student, can I park in a Faculty/Staff space?
No. Students must remain in their designated parking areas. This is for all times, no matter how tempting the empty Faculty/Staff space may be near your destination.

I am a Student, can I park in a Faculty/Staff space with my flashers on?
No. Students must remain in their designated parking areas. This is for all times, no matter how tempting the empty Faculty/Staff space may be near your destination.

I am a visitor, can I park in a Faculty/Staff space?
Unregistered vehicles (visitors) with the parking office may park in a Faculty/Staff space from 5pm during the week, until 7am (or in Torrey Lot until 9am) the next business day. Or on the weekends from Friday at 5pm until 7am (or in Torrey Lot until 9am) on Monday morning.

Monday, April 7, 2008

What a lovely sight!

While you are walking to class or strolling to your grab-in-go, make sure to look down and you will be surprise at what you see. Its starting to look a lot like spring time! Can you believe it? Its hard to imagine that these little flowers are determined to make their appearance even with the chill in the air.

Well, try and enjoy the little surprises that mother nature has blessed us with while you are heading to your destination today!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Visitor Parking

If your visitor is coming for a visit, great! Just keep in mind these simple rules to avoid a ticket.

What if my visitor is coming for the weekend?
Visitors may park during the weekend in a Faculty/Staff Space from 5pm on Friday until 7am on Monday or in Torrey Lot until 9am (that gives you a 1/2 an hour after the parking office opens to get them a *FREE* pass).

What if my guest shows up on a weeknight?
If your visitor is stopping by during the week after business hours, they may park from 5pm until 7am the next business day or in Torrey Lot until 9am (that gives you a 1/2 an hour after the parking office opens to get them a pass).

What if my visitor comes during a weekday?
If your visitor is stopping by during business hours (7am-5pm) they will need a *FREE* pass from the parking office to park on campus longer then 2 hours. If your guest will be here under 2 hours, there are visitor spaces all around campus for the 2 hour period. They may park in any of those spaces as long as they do not park longer then the 2 hour limit.

What if my guest only stops by for a couple of hours?
If your guest will be here under 2 hours, there are visitor spaces all around campus for the 2 hour period. They may park in any of those spaces as long as they do not park longer then the 2 hour limit.

What do I need for a visitor pass?
In order to apply for a *FREE* visitor pass, we will need the plate number, make and model of their vehicle. Your visitor does not have to be with you to obtain this pass. But, your visitor cannot get the pass without you. So, please remember to come by before they arrive, or with your visitor. The passes can be for one night or up to one month at a time. There is not limit to how many *FREE* visitor passes you may apply for.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Spring Parking

As the weather warms up, the birds are singing, the snow is melting and the flowers are starting to bloom, thoughts of illegal parking pop in your head. Um, no! Please park where your decal indicates where you should park your vehicle.

Take this opportunity to enjoy the warmer weather while walking from your vehicle to your dorm or other locations on campus. We don't want to ticket your vehicle because you are parked illegally.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Parking Questions?

Do you have a parking question?

Are you confused about a certain regulation?

If so, please email Charlyn at or leave a comment. We would like to address all of your parking concerns.