Having a car in Blacksburg can be a burden at times — students living on and off campus are always worried about looming threats of receiving parking tickets or being towed.
Students moving off campus will find that the majority or apartment complexes enforce towing.
“We hate towing, and we sympathize with those who do get towed, but our hands are tied,” said, Becky Tomlin, the Village at Blacksburg general manager.
Space is one of the biggest reasons apartment complexes resort to towing vehicles that aren’t parked in the proper guest spaces or don’t display the correct permits.
Apartment complexes begin towing in September, after residents have had a chance to settle in and before the first home football game.Leasing offices may send out letters or emails to residents, reminding them to purchase or pick up a parking permit.
Foxridge, one of the largest off-campus apartment complexes in Blacksburg, does not require residents to have a parking permit, particularly because of the ample space available.
The Village Phase I and Phase II have 122 guest spaces and enough parking spaces for more than 1,000 residents.
Each resident receives one free parking pass during move-in. Those who do not have a parking pass must park in guest spots.
“We don’t want people to be towed,” Tomlin said. “Residents need to let their friends and family know where they can and can’t park.”
But beware of giving your parking pass to a visiting friend — most apartment complexes state in the lease or parking agreement that they are never responsible for towing fees, which can be hefty. Both Valley Towing’s and Campus Automotive’s towing fees are about $125.
Gabe Di Giovanni, the Valley Towing manager, said many people who get towed argue that someone told them they could park where they did.
“There is really no place in Blacksburg that doesn’t have a meter or isn’t towing enforced,” Di Giovanni said. “If it doesn’t have a meter, then more than likely you are parking on private property, and you need to make sure you are authorized to park there.”
Terrace View Apartments, another large complex in Blacksburg, has around 30 guest spaces to serve 808 apartments, making them hard to come by. Each resident at Terrace View is allowed to purchase up to two parking passes, as long as they show registration — either in their name, or their parent or guarantor’s name — for each vehicle. Each pass costs $5.
Terrace View is one of many complexes that use Campus Automotive to tow any illegally parked cars
between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. seven days a week, so people are free to park there during the day.
When visitors can’t find any available guest spaces at Terrace View, there is additional parallel parking on Progress Street, Hunt Club Road and Tom’s Creek Road, but these spaces tend to fill up quickly on the weekends.
Campus Automotive also tows cars from Hunters Ridge, Maple Ridge Townhomes, Collegiate Suites and Kent Square. The company’s general manager, Johnnie Self, said if a person’s car has been towed, they should first call to verify that Campus Automotive has their car.
“If we do have your car, people should try and be polite, and we will be polite,” Self said. “We understand that getting towed is a huge inconvenience, and we will treat it as such.”