SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A glaring green envelope under a windshield wiper was an early accounting lesson for some Santa Barbara City College students Monday morning when they illegally parked off campus.
Some streets near the school require a residential parking permit that costs $40 a year. It has the letter "M" and should be in the window. Without it, and during school hours, a ticket is issued.
The parking enforcement officer working the neighborhood has seen the overflow of parking and the numerous violators for years when classes start up.
At one time, Officer Cindy Garcia had written about 20 tickets on one block. Residents have thanked her for the enforcement because of the parking issues they have faced over the years trying to find a space in front of their own property. One resident said, at times he had to park blocks away and walk home, because of the problem.
Cedric Heard held a parking ticket in his hand saying he had been late for class and where he parked on Oceano St. was the only spot left. "Parking was tough," said Heard. The ticket came with a $48 fine.
SBCC tells students there are many alternatives to driving to the campus including using the bus pass that comes with the annual student fees.
The parking issues calm down as the semester gets underway and some students drop classes.
Throughout the day, however for those enforcing the parking rules, when one student leaves, often another fills the spot off campus and that vehicle gets a ticket too. "All day long they come and go," said Garcia. At times she says she reminds the students to park in a legal area and many thank her for the tip before they get cited.