OXFORD – Concerned that minimal parking fines will have little impact on thousands of extra drivers in the city on game days, Oxford aldermen will vote Aug. 20 on a proposal to increase fees for downtown parking violations.
The proposal would raise first-time ticket fines from the current $10 to $50 on game days only, while raising the penalties for second and third violations to $75 and $100, respectively.
The concerns come about as the University of Mississippi starts enforcement against illegal parking. In past years, thousands of football fans parked on sidewalks, an action that could trigger a lawsuit if students, employees or visitors with disabilities are unable to make their way around campus.
Remaining on-campus parking has been allocated to students who live in campus housing, to donors and to longtime season-ticket holders.
Both the city and the university have added more off-campus parking locations and shuttle services.
“I’m more worried that this is going to be a major adjustment for people who are used to parking on campus,” Mayor Pat Patterson said.
City Attorney Pope Mallette will research whether the measure would qualify for a waiver of the city’s usual 30-day implementation period. If not, the Aug. 20 vote would put implementation after the home opener with Southeast Missouri
University but before any other home games.
“This might be a good opportunity at that first game to educate everybody,” said Alderman Jay Hughes. “We don’t want to invite all these people to town and then (just surprise) them with a bigger fine.”