Meet ‘The Barnacle’: Twitter user complains about UH $920 windshield penalty; hilarious responses ensue

Meet ‘The Barnacle’: Twitter user complains about UH $920 windshield penalty, hilarious responses ensue
Meet ‘The Barnacle’: Twitter user complains about UH $920 windshield penalty, hilarious responses ensue

HOUSTON – The University of Houston is responding after a Twitter user complained about a $920 parking violation that included a windshield device akin to a tire boot dubbed “the barnacle.”

User babayaga wrote on Twitter, “$920 to get this removed. All bc the university doesn’t have enough permits available nor parking options that are affordable for students that already pay to attend the University. Everyone send a dollar my way😢 @uhparking @UHouston”

The university’s parking arm replied on Twitter saying that valid permits are available at all times, but the Twitter user complained about the cost saying they are around $800. Undeterred, the university wrote back with quotes for a permit that costs $337.

KPRC 2 reached out to the university parking organization for more information on the penalties that would lead to “the barnacle” being applied onto a vehicle and received word that people who receive the barnacles are people that park at the university without a permit and students with more than five citations.

"If you don’t have (a permit) and you’re collecting multiple citations, we use a barnacle to immobilize the vehicle,” said UH Parking and Transportation Executive Director, Neil Hart.

According to the university, barnacle charges are $75 which is $25 less expensive than towing the vehicle. They also say it’s quicker to get a barnacle removed than to recover a towed vehicle.

UH began using the new device in December and officials say they have placed barnacles on nearly three dozen cars since then.

“The ultimate thing here is compliance," Hart said. “We have permits available and you can purchase a permit at any time."

Beyond the actual costs associated with removing a barnacle, students say they also take issue with the parking situation on campus.

“At first, I was thinking to myself well okay, that’s another financial burden that I have as a 21-year-old just trying to get my degree," said student Quentin Edmiston about getting a barnacle on his vehicle. "They don’t have as many parking spots as they should be having for all the students, I think it’s like 40,000 kids go to UH now.”

The university maintains there are several parking options for students and if students have outstanding fees they can’t immediately pay, they offer alternative options.

“It’s just simply about every spot here has to be paid for and you have to have a permit, and that’s what we’re enforcing,” said Hart.

You can learn more about the barnacle here.

Hillarious Twitter ‘solutions’

Twitter, of course, gave user babyaga ideas to potentially circumvent the system, ranging from breaking the windshield to scraping the adherent mechanism from the glass surface with a credit or gift card.

Here are some of the funniest responses.

About the Author:

An Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist, Amanda Cochran is a Houston transplant from New York City who has embraced her new city with both arms -- living and breathing news and all things Texas.