TCC reminds the community about parking rules

“You have to be in the TCC to park at the TCC.”

Members of the TRU community are being warned not to park their vehicles at TCC unless they’re actively using the facilities. Towing and parking enforcement are ramping up at the TCC due to non-facility users parking on the grounds in recent months. 

In addition to the typical parking signage explaining a two-hour limit for visiting vehicles, stronger language has been added to new signs posted near the lot entrances and inside the building.

“WARNING: TCC parking lots are being monitored daily to prevent unauthorized parking. If you park and leave the TCC parking lot, YOUR VEHICLE WILL BE TICKETED AND TOWED,” reads a notice now positioned at the west entrance. 

According to Sean Smith, a business operations and event supervisor at the TCC, these signs are part of a larger education and enforcement campaign. Smith explained, however, that policies are still the same at the TCC; they are just planning to enforce existing regulations.

“It’s not a new policy. We’ve always had signs in the parking lot that ask that people not leave the property,” Smith said. “Parking is for patrons of the TCC, and we’re trying to keep as much parking for them as possible.”

Smith said the renewed focus on enforcement has been sparked by complaints from daily TCC users who consistently say they can’t find parking. The concern for Smith is that drivers often park at the facility before abandoning their vehicles to walk to TRU or go shopping nearby.

“The signs just aren’t getting the message [across], so unfortunately, we’ve had to tow a few vehicles of people we’ve seen leaving the property,” Smith said.

Bob McPhee, a senior citizen and TCC patron, was unaware of the crackdown but said he had experienced issues with parking. McPhee often frequents the TCC to join his grown daughter walking the indoor tracks or occasionally swimming in the aquatic center. He recalled difficulty finding parking spots occasionally and said his daughter often mentions the same issue, but he chalked it up to using the facility during prime hours.

“When it comes to parking, what isn’t full?” McPhee said on the general lack of parking in the immediate area. 

That said, he noted what he perceived to be an uptake in parking since the new year. 

“In the month of January here, this facility was really being used,” McPhee said.

This point was echoed by Smith, who said that staff has also noticed increasingly full parking stalls in recent months, which has been one of the driving factors behind this ongoing crackdown.

Smith said he believes the TCC parking lot appeals to drivers because they do not request payment.

“The challenge is TRU charges for parking, and the TCC doesn’t,” Smith said. “As soon you have a parking lot that is free of charge next to a parking lot that is not free of charge, it’s pretty obvious what people are gonna take.”

Smith has contacted TRUSU and other outlets to spread awareness about the campaign. As a result, the TRU Student Life Instagram Page posted about the TCC parking crackdown, garnering over 100 likes and general support.

Overall, Smith’s message to TRU students and community members in general is simple:

“You have to be in the TCC to park at the TCC.”