For the first time in 10 years, parking tickets at Binghamton University are becoming more expensive. To wit: parking in a campus lot without a parking pass will now be a $40 offense, while parking in a handicapped zone will cost a cool $100.

Student Association President Jared Kirschenbaum is incensed. He told Pipe Dream, “I’m going to voice my opinions against them.” “Them” being new fine increases proposed earlier this week by BU’s Parking Advisory Committee. Though Kirschenbaum acknowledged that some of the new added fees are legitimate, the always-bold SA chief said that “the amount they’re increasing is pretty hefty.”

We think Kirschenbaum should use his opinions on something else. His initial reflex is to stand up for the student body, no matter what. In most cases that is exactly what he should do, but in this situation he needs to look at the bigger picture. The augmented parking penalties are perfectly fair.

Our parking tickets are inexpensive to begin with. The no-pass ticket is up from only $25 to $40, the handicapped-zone ticket is marked up from only $50 to $100. In the last decade, there has been a 24.4 percent inflationary change in the value of the dollar. So, a $25 ticket then costs $31.10 in today’s dollars. Moving to $40 is less than a $10 jump.

Given the pressure of inflation and, given that we already have one of the cheaper parking registration fees of comparable schools — Cornell, for extreme comparison, charges about $600 for a parking pass — we think a bump in our parking fines are more than warranted, and certainly preferable to an increase in the charge for a legitimate hang tag. (For the record, the price tag on the hangtag isn’t going anywhere.)

Parking lots on Binghamton’s campus can’t be maintained using state funding or student tuition money, so making tickets reasonably more expensive while maintaining cheap parking passes makes perfect sense.

There’s more to consider as well. Take for instance the handicapped parking space. The University is not going off the deep end here, they’re just making up the difference between our unusually low fee and what seems to be standard everywhere else. At SUNY campuses like Stony Brook, Albany and Cortland, the fine is already $100, which is $50 below the SUNY-wide maximum fee.

Brass tacks: The fee increases are warranted, they allow parking passes to stay cheap and the money goes directly back into parking facilities.

Aren’t there other things Kirschenbaum could be voicing his opinions on? Hm?