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Southeast Missouri State University has gone to great lengths to accommodate commuting students. Parking lots have been expanded. Parking garages have been built. A shuttle system takes students between parking facilities and classroom buildings.
Despite what the university calls ample parking options, many students apparently find them less convenient or less expensive than parking illegally on nearby residential streets.
A proposal for a major increase in parking fines near the university has been put on hold. University and Cape Girardeau officials say they want to gather more information before making any changes. How parking restrictions are indicated on signs and which streets can bear the load of student parking are among the data being sought.
Residents around the university are annoyed by the inconvenience of illegally parked vehicles when the university is in session. The cars often block driveways. On some narrow streets, students who illegally park on both sides of the street could impede emergency vehicles.
Students have complained in recent years as tuition and fees have risen dramatically. It's a wonder, then, that they are so cavalier about the costly option of parking fines.
While it might not be popular, aggressive and consistent enforcement is the best way to make sure parking regulations are observed.