FORT MYERS, Fla., "Extremely bad." That's how some Florida SouthWestern State College students describe the parking situation in Fort Myers.
"I live 15 minutes away but I have to leave an hour early to find a spot," said Sophomore Rena Burtch.
Burtch and a friend started a petition online to get the attention of College administrators.
"They shouldn't be ticketing us. If they're making us pay for parking, then we should be able to park on the grass," Burtch said.
"There's not enough parking spaces for everyone here," said another student.
Some students claim that's why they park in ditches, on curbs, in the grass or wherever they can - even though it's illegal and they risk being ticketed.
"I'm being graded on attendance. My last resort is to park on the grass and hope I don't get a ticket," Burtch said, claiming she's been late to class a few times because she couldn't find a place to park.
Students say the parking problems are especially bad Monday through Thursday.
In an email, an FSW spokesperson sent 4 In Your Corner the following statement:
"The start of the fall semester is a flurry of activity on campus. We are excited to welcome our new students to FSW, along with welcoming back returning students. After a few weeks, everyone settles into their routines and the challenges of parking typically resolves itself. In the meantime, we advise our students to allow extra time to park and get to class. During this initial time of adjustment, we issue warnings to students, and only ticket the most flagrant parking violations. We do have an increase in enrollment across our three campuses and regional education center, however it has a minimal impact on parking availability."
The petition can be found here.