Your guide to parking on campus

By Rylee Warner | February 28, 2017 7:37am


Parking on campus is the most stressful part of every weekday if you drive to school.

One day, you’ll get to school 20 minutes before class starts and end up five minutes late to class because there was just no parking anywhere. The next, you roll up three minutes before class starts, immediately find a spot, and stroll in with a cool one minute before go time. It’s infuriating.

If you’re going to be a student next school year, you’ve probably heard about how we’re losing 40 parking spots.

Break into a cold sweat just reading those words?

No need to fear! We’ve done the legwork and figured out where you can park on campus with the most ease.

When you first arrive on campus via the main entrance, you’ll pass parallel parking spots on either side, labelled The Lucky One on the map. Expect nothing here.

Follow the entrance past Buckley Center toward Waldschmidt Hall and the East Quad, with more parallel parking (see Parallel Nightmares). Check out the parking spots to your right as you pass Waldschmidt, because sometimes you’ll be able to find an open spot (hallelujah!). Make sure that you’re not parking in one of the 24/7 reserved spots over here because a lot of spots in this area fall in that category.

If you have no luck here, ignore the mounting sense of panic and turn around to go back the way you came. Keep an eye out for spots open behind Kenna and Christie, but this is usually a pipe dream.

Next, be sure to scan the sides of the road as you head toward the main parking lot, not only for darters (pedestrians who just run out from in between the cars without looking in the hopes that you’ll pay their tuition), but for any of the Parallel Nightmare or Too Little Too Late spots that may be left open on either side while you are continuing your search.

In the main parking lot, go all the way to your left and drive up the aisle closest to the library, checking for spots of course. Don’t get your hopes up as so many others have in this Dream Graveyard. Sometimes someone leaves just as you’re driving down the aisle, and if that happens, make sure to turn on your blinker, your hazards, and get out of your vehicle to let anyone around know that you have seen this spot first and if anyone tries to steal it the result will not be pretty.

Chances are you don’t get this lucky, though. So continue up that aisle and turn left at the end of it, following that little downward slope past the Mago Hunt Theatre. This stop sign is one of the worst on campus when classes let out as people from the West Quad are trying to go to class or are going home from their class, so take this time to do some deep breathing exercises and get your chakras back into alignment while you wait, praying to whoever you believe in that you’ll find a spot soon.

Once you successfully turn left at this stop sign in your new zen state, check the spots to your left in front of the Health and Wellness Center. Your chances aren’t great there, but you never know.

Just past the Health and Wellness Center, there’s a steep downhill driveway into a parking lot. Here you’ve found the Holy Grail of parking on campus. I have yet to see this area with no parking available, so if you’re in a hurry, skip everything above and comes straight to this parking lot.

If for some reason there isn’t parking here either, try to remain calm and head toward the small KBVM building at the far side of the lot. You can pass the building on the left, where there are more spots. Again, double check for reserved spots.

If your bad luck streak is only continuing, turn left here and start heading uphill, where there is parking behind the tennis center and Shiley. The spots here are tight and you’re in for a bit of a hike, but beggars can’t be choosers and maybe you can do this often enough to avoid having to make a trip to the gym.

Follow this road around to the side of the Commons, where there’s a cramped parking lot that occasionally has a spot or two open.

After this, head back behind Shiley toward the East Quad, going around and behind Corrado. Your chances aren’t great, but at this point you have to take whatever you can get.

Do a quick loop around Beauchamp and Fields and Schoenfeldt, just in case there’s some street parking around here, although these options are rare. Make sure you don’t park in the parking lot behind Beauchamp—there isn’t much signage, but it’s a loading dock and it is very unpleasant when you try to leave and there are two giant trucks back there (not that this has ever happened to me before or anything).

With all this searching, it’s probably been about fifteen minutes and you’re rightfully panicked. Head down to River Campus and hope and pray that there will be a shuttle coming soon, or that you’re prepared to hike uphill, probably in the rain, probably when you forgot your rain jacket, and most likely when you’re running late to a presentation.

Still no parking? I’m sorry that this is your struggle, but you can start over again because almost certainly someone has left by now.

Or, you know, go home and eat some ice cream and walk next time.