Parking can have its perils: Make sure you need your car

By Brittany Abeijon

Although few freshmen bring cars to school, there are some that choose to. For the students that do bring a car on campus, there are many options for permits, and violations can easily be avoided with the right information.

“Parking is definitely not widely available,” said Pam Voitik, director of campus services. “The best option for freshmen is to utilize student storage parking.”

University parking lots that are available for students all day include: lot E-14, located at the intersection of First Street and Kirby Avenue, west of Assembly Hall; lot F-23, at Florida and Lincoln avenues; lot B-22, at the northeast corner of University and Goodwin avenues; and North Deck B04, at the northwest corner of University and Goodwin avenues.

The proximity of a student’s residence hall may determine the lot they choose.

No parking is available on campus from 2 a.m – 6 a.m., unless a permit is achieved for one of these student storage lots. University parking permits are sold each semester at a price of $180 per semester; however, the spots are limited.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

In addition to parking permits, a device called a CashKey offers a parking alternative for students who only wish to park temporarily at a meter. CashKeys can be used at any meter on campus as long as a value has previously been purchased.

The CashKey is simply a programmable key that users can charge dollar amounts to in order to eliminate the hassles of carrying around coins for the parking meters. A one time fee of $17.50 is required to purchase a key, and then dollar amounts can be charged onto it up to $100.

Voitik offers simple advice to freshmen eager to avoid being ticketed.

“Don’t park where you’re not supposed to,” she said.

Tickets are often issued because students are uninformed or misinformed on where to park on weekends, game days, and when friends or family come to visit.

“If visitors need a place to park, you can put it in the storage lot,” Voitik said. “When in doubt, call the parking department and they can let you know the easiest and safest area to park.”

Freshmen who do feel the need to bring their cars on campus express some advantages and disadvantages of owning a permit.

Bob Ridlen, sophomore in LAS, said the best part about having a car is that he doesn’t have to take the bus anywhere.

“The Illini Express gets old quick,” Ridlen said. “But, ‘Hey can I borrow your car?’ gets really old after awhile, too.”

Lauren Burke, sophomore in LAS, received a parking spot through a lottery at Bromley Hall, 910 S. Third St.

“I spend way more money, because of gas than if I didn’t have a car,” Burke said. “But it’s nice to be able to drive my friends and I around if the weather is bad or we prefer to go off campus.”

Burke warns freshmen that if you plan on bringing your car on campus, it can be frustrating.

“Watch out for pedestrians,” she said.

Voitik said that students should only bring a car to campus if it is absolutely necessary.

“If you intend on using it occasionally, don’t bring it,” she said. “If you plan on driving your car to class as a freshman, don’t bring it.”