By Donovan Ortiz:
They are easy to spot…bright, noticeable and they take up a whole parking space. The cones at Amarillo College’s Washington Street Campus have frustrated many students, particularly those who tend to park in lot nine.
The AC police are responsible for putting out the cones to reserve parking spaces or even entire lots around the college when there is an event or when special groups have meetings. The majority of parking space reservations take place in parking lot nine.
Because parking lot nine is small and close to everything on the campus, it is frequently coned off for special occasions.
“It’s easy access to the college,” Scott Acker, campus police chief, said. “It’s a smaller parking lot that the police department can control and block off compared to other areas in the college.”
The police department takes reservations to cone off certain areas. They get calls from local clubs and other groups outside of the college to hold parking spaces.
Twice each month, the police department will reserve about 12 to 15 parking spaces for the board of regents and the AC Foundation in parking lot nine, which causes a lot of frustration among students rushing to find parking spaces.
“Parcells all is where I have my classes at,” Jacob Watkins, a business management major, said. “It sucks because I see a parking spot and then I see a cone and it pisses me off because I can’t park there.”
Some students even move the cones so they can park. Acker said when that happens, they track down the person and give a warning about moving the cones. Some students will even take the cones with them in an effort to find a space with no repercussions.
The department has had to order more cones due to students taking them, which takes away funds that could be used to improve other areas of the campus. Acker said the department has not written a citation for moving a cone and parking in a reserved spot since he has been police chief.
“The cones are annoying,” Griffin Hendricks, a mass media major, said. “When I’m running late, I just want to park somewhere and get to class.”