Parking at Penn Highlands risks towing

Matt Churella , Contributing Writer

Some of Pitt-Johnstown’s students have tested the mutual respect between Pitt-Johnstown and Penn Highlands communities, by parking in the community college’s lots.

This intrusion has become such an issue that Penn Highlands Community College has posted a sign on their main entrance that reads in capital letters, “No UPJ student parking: tow away zone.”

Above that is a black-and-yellow sign warning that all unauthorized vehicles will be towed by Moxham Mobil of Johnstown.

“Vehicles can be recovered upon proof of ownership and payment of tow: storage fee per day,” the sign reads.

Penn Highlands Security and Safety Director Cregg Dibert had plenty to say about Pitt-Johnstown vehicles parked in the Penn Highlands parking lots.

“The only reason why a student’s vehicle should be parked in our lot is if they are a student of Penn Highlands,” Dibert said.

According to Dibert, the black-and-yellow sign should suppress any wonder of whether Pitt-Johnstown students could park at Penn Highlands.

“We will not allow it,” Dibert said.

Part of Dibert’s job is to enforce the Penn Highlands parking policy, which he does by writing citations for parking violations.

“I can’t change the law, but I enforce the law,” Dibert said.

Dibert said that Pitt-Johnstown requires students to pay for a parking pass and that there may be a limited number of parking spots available, but he will not allow (Pitt-Johnstown) students to illegally park at Penn Highlands.

“We are cheating (Pitt-Johnstown) out of money if we allowed their students to park here for free,” Dibert said.

Dibert explained that the workers who plow the Penn Highlands parking lots have a more difficult task when Pitt-Johnstown students are parked there.

Dibert said he remembered a few instances when Pitt-Johnstown students abused the Penn Highlands parking lot.

He recalled an incident from earlier in the fall when a Pitt-Johnstown student was under the influence and caused damage to the Penn Highlands parking lot.

Dibert said that the student believed he was parked by his dorm, but was actually at Penn Highlands.

Dibert said police were called, and the Pitt-Johnstown student paid restitution.

Dibert said a party bus that leaves Pitt-Johnstown and takes students to downtown Johnstown was known for causing problems.

The bus was to pick up students near the Penn Highlands entrance. Dibert said there would often be litter left near the entrance. Broken glass was a common litter found in the area.

Dibert said these violations only cause more work for the Penn Highlands employees who strive to maintain a pristine parking lot.

Freshman Shane Gezzi said that Pitt-Johnstown students should have more convenient places to park.

“Freshmen have to park far away,” Gezzi said.

Gezzi also said that there are too many potholes in the Pitt-Johnstown parking lots. Gezzi said that fixing these holes and adding more convenient parking spots may prevent students from parking at Penn Highlands.