University to increase campus parking rates


Charlotte Philipp

Lot 37, located on South First Street in Champaign, is one of the many metered parking lots available to Memorial Stadium and University patrons.

By Meghana Kaza, Contributing Writer

The University’s parking department will increase parking rates on campus starting July 1, 2020. Parking meters will increase by 25 cents per hour, while faculty and staff virtual parking permits will increase between 0.8 percent and 0.9 percent of an individual’s annual base salary.

This is the first annual parking rate increase the University has had since 2012.

The increase is to fund maintenance and construction costs associated with upkeep for the infrastructure for all parking on campus, according to the Illinois Parking Department. The rates will be applied to the five parking structures and over 150 parking lots on campus.

“Parking is one of the main barriers to coming to campus partly because it already costs me about $8 a week just for parking and because it’s almost impossible for me to find metered spots available,” said University alumna Delaney Walsh in an email. 

University parking customer care manager, Maria McMullen, said in an email there will be no increase in annual students permits for Fiscal Year 2020.

When told about the price increase, University students were understanding but wanted more information and adequate reasoning.

“I would like to be informed of reasons why the University feels the urge to raise meter prices with such limited spots available currently,” Walsh said. “I understand that with our economic system and structure, raised prices are just part of that and necessary for other expenses.”

Abigail Iuorio, junior in Engineering who drives on campus, thinks the parking price increase is crucial to keeping streets available.

“It’s fair if (the University) needs that kind of money to keep it up,” Iuorio said. “They have to pay the towing companies to come and they have to keep up their parking structures.”

Iuorio said the towing process can be tedious and expensive for students who may not have any other means to reach the towing company after paying a $252 parking ticket.

These tows, however, were carried out for legitimate reasons. Both Walsh and Iuorio had their cars towed on campus for parking violations. Any car that has been towed in must be reported to the local police department to find the towing company the car is being held at.

“(Parking) enforcement officers have no quota, receive no sort of commission, nor are their paychecks in any way based off of citations written,” McMullen said.

Walsh said the parking price changes would not change how much she used her car.

“I would probably still use my car because sometimes the buses don’t go everywhere that I need to be and/or at the exact times I need to be at a certain places,” Walsh said. “Weather permitting, I would try to ride my bike or just walk to where I need to go.”

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