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Official Regulations

SECTION 1. By approval of the Western Carolina University Board of Trustees under authority of North Carolina Statute 116-44.4, the provisions of Western Carolina University Parking and Traffic Regulations shall apply to the operators of all vehicles, whether public or private, and these rules and regulations shall be in force twenty-four (24) hours a day, except as herein provided. It shall be unlawful for any operator to violate any of the provisions of these rules and regulations, except as otherwise permitted in the regulations or by the General Statutes of North Carolina .

SECTION 2. The operator of any vehicle shall obey the lawful instructions of any officer and of any official traffic sign or control device applicable thereto placed in accordance with the provisions of these regulations, unless otherwise directed by an officer. These regulations are in force whether or not specific traffic signs are used. The responsibility of finding a legal parking space rests with the motor vehicle operator. Lack of space is not considered an excuse for violation of any parking regulation. The Director of Parking & Transportation shall be responsible for causing the signs, signals, and marking necessary to implement these regulations to be erected, established, and maintained.

SECTION 3. No person shall without lawful authority attempt to or in fact, alter, deface, injure, knock down, or removal of any official traffic or parking control sign or device or any inscription, shield, or insignia thereon or any other part thereof. Violators will be subject to a $50 fine in addition to the cost of replacement and/or repair of these signs.

SECTION 4. The Director of Parking & Transportation, in acting pursuant to the authority vested in him by these regulations, shall exercise his discretion and authority in such a manner as to accommodate the proper conduct of the necessary business of the University and assure effective utilization and control of the available parking areas and facilities on the campus for the maximum benefit of students, faculty, staff and visitors.

SECTION 5. The definitions of all terms used in these regulations shall be those provided in Section 20-4.01 and other applicable sections of the General Statutes of North Carolina insofar as they are provided. The meaning of other terms shall be as follows:

  • ACADEMIC YEAR: The academic year begins in August at the opening of the fall semester and concludes in August at the end of the Summer II semester. Regular day classes are scheduled Monday through Friday. Night and Saturday classes, usually meeting once a week, are available in Cullowhee, Asheville , Cherokee, and various other locations.
  • CAMPUS: All property owned by or leased to Western Carolina University that includes property owned by the Board of Trustees of the Endowment Fund of Western Carolina University.
  • CHANCELLOR: The Chancellor of Western Carolina University .
  • CROSSWALK: That portion of a roadway ordinarily included within the prolongations of connection of the lateral lines of sidewalks at intersections, or any portion of a roadway distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other markings on the surface.
  • DIRECTOR OF PARKING AND TRANSPORTATION: That person designated by the Chancellor who shall be responsible for administering, implementing, and enforcing the provisions of these regulations, except where another person or persons is specified in the regulations.
  • EMPLOYEE: Any Western Carolina University faculty or staff member regardless of whether the employment is full- or part-time, or any employee of any contractor or vendor who is contracted, licensed, or otherwise authorized to conduct business with the University. This definition shall not include student workers or employees, graduate assistants, or teaching assistants.
  • FACULTY: The faculty shall consist of these persons who shall be approved by the Board of Trustees of Western Carolina University for faculty status at the rank of instructor or above, or as further provided by the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina.
  • HANDICAPPED SPACE: A parking space, including the access aisle designated for legally disabled persons. Such vehicles must display either a handicapped license tag or nationally recognized handicapped decal or placard.
  • HANDICAP ACCESS: Those areas providing individuals with mobility disabilities access to sidewalks, doorways, and buildings.
  • INTERSECTIONS: The area embraced within the prolongation of the lateral curb lines or, if none, then the lateral boundary lines of two or more highways, streets, or roadways crossing the other.
  • LOADING ZONE: A space designated for the VISIBLE loading and unloading of materials and other items for a period of 30 minutes or less (unless otherwise stated).  This is NOT a parking space.
  • METERED PARKING: Metered Parking is pay parking provided throughout campus and is intended to be utilized as short-term parking.  It is available for students, faculty/staff, and visitors.
  • NO PARKING ZONE: Areas that are crosshatched and/or identified by signs stating "No Parking."
  • OPERATOR: The word "operator" as used in this article, shall mean and include every individual who shall operate a vehicle as the owner thereof, or as the agent, employee, or permittee of the owner, or is in actual physical control of a vehicle.
  • PARKING: The standing of a vehicle, whether occupied or not, otherwise than temporarily for the purpose of and while visibly engaged in loading and unloading from a designated parking area.
  • PARKING AREA: Any place or area set aside, marked, or intended for parking of vehicles, either permanently or temporarily with lines on both sides of the vehicle, creating a parking space.
  • RESERVED SPACE: Reserved spaces are spaces that have been reserved specifically for an individual or department near their place of business.  Reserved spaces will only be approved for a Dean or someone with equal or higher rank. To reserve a space there is a fee charged and approval is needed. Please contact parking office for additional information.
  • SERVICE VEHICLE: Any vehicle owned or leased by the University or other governmental entity or private vendor conducting business with the University displaying an approved service permit.
  • SERVICE VEHICLE SPACES: These are temporary, short-term spaces to load/unload service vehicles to perform duties in a building or service area.  This is NOT a parking space.
  • SHORT-TERM PARKING: Parking for one hour or less or as designated by signage.
  • SIDEWALK: All the property along or by any street, highway, or roadway which is intended for pedestrian use and which lies between the curb line or lateral line of any street, highway, or roadway and the line at which use of property for purposes other than pedestrian traffic use begins.
  • SPEED LIMIT: 20 miles per hour on campus roadways unless otherwise designated. 10 miles per hour in parking lots.
  • STAFF MEMBER: Administrative officers, clerical force, maintenance employees of the University employed full or part-time.
  • STOP: When required, means complete cessation of movement. When prohibited, means any stopping of a vehicle except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the directions of an officer or traffic control sign or signal.
  • STREET, HIGHWAY, OR ROADWAY: The entire width of every way or place of whatever nature designated or marked by proper authorities for vehicular traffic.
  • STUDENT: A person registered for full or part-time academic study, including special students on the undergraduate or graduate level other than staff members of the University.
  • SUMMER SESSION: Sessions held during Summer in Cullowhee and Asheville. Includes credit, non-credit, seminars, and workshops.
  • UNIVERSITY: Unless otherwise provided, Western Carolina University.
  • VEHICLE: Every device in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon by a highway. For the purposes of the article, bicycles, scooters and mopeds shall be deemed vehicles, and every rider of a bicycle, scooter or moped on the campus shall be subject to the provisions of the regulations governing traffic.
  • VISITOR: Any individual not classified as faculty, staff, or student.
  • WALK OR WALKWAY: A way designated for or marked by proper authorities for exclusive use of pedestrians along a roadway or not.

SECTION 1.  The Chancellor will determine and control the categories of motorists required to register vehicles pursuant to authority conferred by General Statutes 116-44.3.

SECTION 2.  Every motorist desiring to park on campus is required to register with the WCU Parking Operations Office all vehicles to be parked and to pay the parking permit fee(s). No motorist may register or acquire a parking permit for a vehicle not owned by himself or herself, his or her spouse, a parent, or a guardian. Every motorist must have proof of ownership to register any vehicle on campus. Additionally, in accordance with North Carolina general statutes, students are required to show proof of insurance. The Chancellor shall have authority to establish the number of vehicles any motorist may register and operate pursuant to these regulations.

SECTION 3.  The Director of Parking & Transportation shall establish procedures for registration of vehicles as an integral part of the University registration process. Registration of vehicles shall be accomplished at the beginning of the fall semester of each year within 48 hours of the first class, or in the case of a student who registers in the University at a time other than the beginning of the Fall semester or an employee who is employed at a time other than the beginning of the Fall semester, within 24 hours of the time the student first registers in the University and at the beginning of the Fall semester thereafter. New employees may obtain a temporary permit at no charge from the Department of Human Resources that is valid for a period not to exceed 30 days.

SECTION 4.  In the event that a vehicle is not owned by a student or an employee at the time prescribed in the preceding section for the registration of vehicles, but is thereafter acquired by a student or an employee, such vehicle shall be registered within 24 hours following its acquisition.

SECTION 5.  Upon application by the motorist and upon the payment of a parking permit fee, except as herein provided, the WCU Parking Operations Office will register the vehicle indicating that the holder thereof is a student enrolled in or an employee of the University and the academic year for which the permit is effective. The motorist's parking permit shall contain the proper zone designating the areas on the campus of the University for which the person is entitled to park.

SECTION 6.  The Director of Parking & Transportation is hereby directed to collect a vehicle parking fee as established by the University from each motorist who registers a vehicle for campus parking. Students attending the Spring semester or employees employed after January 1 will be charged a pro rata fee for their parking permit. Any parking permit purchased in the Fall for a full year may be returned for a refund of half the annual cost if returned by January 31 of the subject academic year.”

SECTION 7.  Parking permits are virtual meaning that there will be no physical hangtag necessary for display. All  vehciles must register with the parking office in order to obtain a virtual permit. 

SECTION 8.  The motorist to whom a vehicle is registered shall be responsible for all parking and traffic violations of the vehicle for which the permit is used.

SECTION 9.  A parking permit shall be valid only in the parking areas for which it is issued, or as otherwise specified in these regulations.
NOTE:   Resident freshmen must park in the freshman lots at all times.

SECTION 10.  Temporary parking permits are available from the WCU Parking Operations Office at a price of $10.00 per week.

SECTION 11.  When a vehicle is traded, sold, or otherwise disposed of, retain your permit to be used in other vehicles you have registered to park on campus property.

SECTION 12.  In addition to other fees and fines, unauthorized possession of parking permit or falsification of registration information may result in loss of parking privileges for the remainder of the semester and referral to the Student Judicial Affairs Office or the Human Resources Department for disciplinary action.

Motorists who require a temporary disability permit may apply at the local License Plate Agency, 454 E Main Street, Sylva, NC (828-586-3886) or online. When temporary disability permits are issued, students and employees must comply with and are subject to all other provisions of these regulations. Employee or student may park in spaces designated by the special permit. Disability spaces are designated for disabled persons only. Vehicles must have a disability permit displayed on the vehicle to park in a disability space.

Owners of two or more vehicles may register all of their vehicles under the same permit by paying the parking fee. Only one vehicle may be parked on campus at a time. All vehicles for which the permit is to be used must be registered.


A. The following examples shall constitute violations of Parking and Traffic Regulations.

Unauthorized Possession of  
a Parking Permit  

$100* and Wheel lock

Falsification of Permit Registration

$100* and Wheel Lock

Reproduction/Illegal Use of Parking Permit

Altered Parking Permit

$100* and Wheel Lock


(*) Plus revocation of campus parking privileges for the remainder of the semester. 


Queuing - Blocking Traffic Lane (A line of vehicles or people awaiting their turn to be attended to or proceed)


No PERMIT - No Registration


Parking Permit Not Properly Displayed








Backing Into or Pulling Through Parking Space


Parking in "No Parking" Zone


Parking in Unauthorized  Area 


Blocking/Unauthorized Use Of "Loading" Zone 


Blocking Trash Pickup Areas 


Parking in Fire Lane 

$100 and Tow

Blocking or Obstructing Traffic, Street,  
Crosswalk, Sidewalk, Parking Space,  
Building, or Another Vehicle


Parked Wrong Way on One Way Street or
Parked on the Wrong Side of Street or
Traffic Direction Lanes


Parking in Expired Metered or
Short-Term Parking


Prohibited Parking on Grass

Mini Mall - Patron Parking Only



Failure To Park in Designated Parking Space


Unauthorized Parking in Handicapped Space


Unauthorized Use of Handicapped Placard

Failure Obey Traffic Sign or Officer




Obstructing a Handicapped Curb Cut or Access Area


Parking in a Barricaded Area


Parking in a Reserved Space

$50 and Tow

Moving Violation -  Speeding, Failure to Stop At Stop Sign, Traffic Signal Violation, Etc.


Non-moving Violations, i.e., Seat Belt, Equipment Defect, Expired Tag 


Operating a Vehicle Producing Loud Noise 


Pedestrian Violation - Jaywalking 


Operating Bicycle in Violation Of Traffic Rules 


Skateboarding/Roller Skating Violation


Wheel Lock Fee



Moving, non-moving, loud noise, pedestrian, bicycle, and skateboard/roller skating violations may also be violations of state law. It is left to the discretion of the police officer as to whether a campus or state citation is issued.  

If a motorist decides to use his or her personal vehicle for a university purpose or function, such use does not grant the motorist any immunity from these rules.  

B. Enforcement 

1. Payment of Fines

  • Fines will be paid in accordance with the published and approved schedule.

  • Fines are payable at the Cashiers Office at the One-Stop Center.

2. Towing and Impoundment of Vehicles

  • The Director of Parking & Transportation may designate those areas on campus as wheel-lock or tow areas.

  • Vehicles that are illegally parked, parked without a parking permit, or parked with voided, canceled, or an illegal parking permit, or parked illegally in a wheel-lock or tow area are subject to wheel-lock or towing. Towing, impoundment, and/or wheel-lock fees will apply.

  • Generally, vehicles that are wheel-locked or impounded in the Police Department impound lot will only be released during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. In verifiable emergency situations, the release of vehicles may be made at other than the above stated hours by special arrangements with police officers on duty. All fees and fines must be paid before a vehicle is released.

  • Any motorist whose vehicle is wheel-locked or towed may file an appeal in the same manner as appealing a parking citation. The appeal shall be in writing and submitted to the SGA Traffic Court (students) or the University Parking, Traffic, and Safety Committee (all others).

  • Any motorist who appeals the towing of his or her vehicle and whose appeal is not granted may appeal to the District Court [NCGS §116-44.4(i) (2)(c)].

C. Disciplinary Action

  • Students: Non-payment of fines will result in the student not being permitted to register for ensuing semesters until the indebtedness is cleared. Students who leave the University or who are candidates for graduation will not be issued diplomas or transcripts until the indebtedness is cleared. Individuals who leave the University owing parking fines are subject to having their income tax return garnished.

D. Appeals

  • Faculty, staff, and students may appeal citations within 14 days of receiving a citation to the Student Government Association.  Appeal citations by using the online appeal form located on the T2 portal. Appeals that have not been completed within the seven day period will not be heard by the SGA. State citations are not appealable through the SGA and are only appealable through the NC Court System.

E. Habitual Offenders

  • A habitual offender is any motorist who receives three (3) or more parking and/or university traffic citations within one semester. Parking and/or university traffic citations that are successfully appealed are not counted.

  • Any motorist who is deemed a habitual offender shall have his or her parking privileges revoked as follows:

    • After receiving the third parking and/or university traffic citation within one semester, the motorist's parking permit shall be revoked for one week. The motorist may apply for restoration of the parking permit at the end of the revocation period.

    • After receiving the sixth parking and/or university traffic citation within one semester, the motorist's parking permit shall be revoked for two weeks. The motorist may apply for restoration of the parking permit at the end of the revocation period. 

    • After receiving the ninth parking and/or university traffic citation within one semester, the motorist's parking permit shall be revoked of three weeks. The motorist may not apply for restoration of the parking permit until the end of the revocation period.

    • After receiving the twelfth parking and/or university traffic citation within one semester, the motorist's parking permit shall be revoked for the remainder of the semester or a period of four weeks during which classes are in session, whichever is greater. The motorist may not apply for restoration of the parking permit until the end of the semester in which the motorist is enrolled as a student, employed or the four-week period, whichever applies.

Any motorist who parks his or her vehicle on campus during the revocation period is subject to having his or her vehicle wheel-locked and/or towed. Wheel-lock and/or towing fees shall be assessed to the motorist.

A motorist who continues parking his or her vehicle on campus after the revocation period implies that he or she wishes to have his or her parking permit restored.

Parking for Special Events shall be in accordance with the University's Game Day and Special Event Parking Policy.

When an emergency situation occurs, parking and traffic limitations may be imposed by the Director of the Police Department as required by the conditions which prevail. Vehicles will be required to yield the right-of-way to emergency situations and emergency vehicles.

Construction or repair operations may require changes in traffic patterns or the redesignation of parking areas. When such situations occur, the staff of the Police Department and/or the Facilities Management Department will attempt to notify all faculty, students, and staff through campus publications and media of the impending restrictions.

A. No pedestrian shall walk or remain on any street, roadway, alley, driveway, parking lot, or parking area in such a careless, negligent, or willful manner so as to endanger his or her safety or to constitute an unreasonable impediment to lawful vehicular traffic.

B. Pedestrian traffic shall abide by traffic and directional signs and signals and shall adhere to all lawful directions of University employees.

A. Faculty and Staff Parking Lots/Areas. These lots/areas are designated by signage and/or yellow lines.

B. Unless otherwise designated, commuter parking permits will be allowed to park in these areas from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. Monday through Friday and 7am-11pm on Saturday and Sunday. 

C. Vehicles with a Faculty/Staff parking permit will be allowed to park in all zones designated Faculty/Staff, Commuter, and Freshmen parking. Vehicles with a Faculty/Staff parking permit will not be allowed to park in Upperclassman-R (resident hall) parking.

D. Reserved, handicapped, and other specially designated parking spaces/areas are for certain individuals or vehicles and applicable regulations for these spaces are enforced 24 hours a day. Spaces that are blocked off by traffic cones, barricades, tape, or other barriers are reserved and not available for parking.

E. Upperclassmen-R Parking Lots/Areas. These lots/areas are designated by signage and/or white lines. These areas are reserved for resident students with an Upperclassman-R permit.

F. Vehicles with Upperclassmen-R parking permits will be allowed to park in all zones designated Upperclassmen-R parking.

G. Commuter Parking Lots/Areas. These lots/areas are designated by signage and/or white lines.

H. Vehicles with a Commuter parking permit will be allowed to park in all zones designated Commuter parking.

I. Vehicles with Faculty/Staff parking permits will be allowed to park in all zones designated Commuter.

J. Vehicles with Freshmen parking permits will be allowed to park in zones designated Freshmen parking and the South Baseball Field lot #8B.

K. Motorists with questions or issues regarding parking lots/areas should contact the Parking Operations Office for assistance (828.227.7275). Office hours Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm.

L. All faculty/staff parking areas, reserved parking areas/spaces, handicapped parking spaces, and fire lanes are designated as wheel-lock/tow zones for the purpose of enforcement. The Director of Parking & Transportation is authorized to designate parking spaces and areas as enforceable by wheel-lock or towing.

Mopeds, scooters, and bicycles are to be parked in a manner so as not to obstruct the movement of pedestrians or interfere with the operation of mechanical or safety devices. If a moped, scooter, or bicycle uses a space reserved for motorcycles or automobiles, it must be registered for a parking permit. In case of theft and for the owner's protection, the Parking Operations Department will register the mopeds, scooters, and bicycles free of charge.

Mopeds, Scooters and Bicycles must:

  • Always ride on the street, never on sidewalks and never in buildings.
  • Stop and walk through intersections and crosswalks.
  • Always yield to pedestrians, don’t weave in between them.
  • Never ride on pedestrian walkways.
  • Always park at bike racks.
  • Never block entrances, doors or ADA access ramps.
  • Do not park in the common area or hallway of any campus building, classroom or residence hall as described in the NOTICE above.
  • Always wear a helmet and protective gear while in use.

The use of skateboards, roller blades, or roller skates upon the streets and sidewalks of campus is prohibited.


All motor vehicles that are disabled on campus for more than 24 hours are to be reported to the Parking and Transportation Office at the start of the next business day. The Parking and Transportation Office staff will provide instructions on how to address this situation. Failure to follow instructions may results in the vehicle being cited, wheel-locked, and/or towed. Disabled vehicles that are illegally parked or obstructing roadways, traffic lanes, sidewalks or other avenues of vehicular and/or pedestrian traffic may be immediately towed at the registered owner's* expense.

* Registered owner means the person and/or lienholder to whom the vehicle is registered either through the Department of Motor Vehicle records or Parking Operations Office records.

"Abandoned vehicle" means a motor vehicle that has remained illegally on the private or public property for a period of more than 10 days without the consent of the owner or person in control of the property. [§20-137.7(1)]

"Derelict vehicle" is a vehicle:

a. that has an expired registration and the registered and legal owner no longer resides at the address listed on the last certificate of registration on record with the North Carolina Department of Transportation;

b. that has major parts removed so as to render the vehicle inoperable and incapable of passing inspections as 
required by existing standards;

c. that have the manufacturer's serial plates, vehicle identification numbers, license plate numbers, and any other means of identification removed so as to nullify efforts to locate or identify the registered and legal owner;

d. for which the registered and legal owner of record disclaims ownership or releases his/her rights thereto; or

e. for which the vehicle is more than twelve years old and does not bear a current license as required by the Department of Motor Vehicles.


When an abandoned or derelict motor vehicle is found on campus, the Parking Operations Office shall dispose of it in accordance with North Carolina general statute §20-137.10.

While signage is posted in many areas of campus to designate parking spaces, the use of colored lines also serves to designate parking spaces. The following colors designate the type of parking space/area.













The Director of Parking and Transportation reserves the right to add or change colors for space designation.

Special Reserved spaces are designated by signage. Time Limited spaces are designed by signage or parking meters.

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