Where to Park?
When one attends the University of Illinois, they will find a time when they need to park on campus. The experience can be a nerve-racking, stressful, and surprisingly difficult situation. After being on campus for nearly a semester, I have had some eventful moments parking, including lack of signage, meter madness, and simple logistical woes.
One of the first parking experiences I had was when I needed to get to a class in little time. Not knowing about parking phone apps and places to park beforehand, I rushed to the building of my lecture, only to find nowhere to park. Later, I settled for a spot a block away, but had no change to pay. Luckily, I found that there was a phone app, Mobile Meter, to pay. With that, I made it to class on time and just want to recommend planning parking ahead on campus.
Another adventure was the result of a class which went over on time. When on campus, one has to remember that non-permit parking is timed, and as a result, needs to be calculated. I made the mistake of assuming normal class time and came out to a parking ticket for $10. It was a small price to pay for learning how to park on a large campus—or city, for that matter. It also brought up the lesson that campus parking is something which you need to think about with room for error or great consideration. In other words, add extra meter time and remember when you must re-attend you car.
Lastly, the final lesson I could share relates to the time in which I parked in an unmarked lot on campus near another lecture building. All of the lots I had seen before had signs all over for permit parking and meters. However, to my surprise, I found on my way out a notice of parking in a permit space. Lucky for me I was able to appeal the fine because of the lack of notification, and in the process, I learned no parking spot is free on campus, no matter how badly labeled.
Hence, parking can be a bother at the University of Illinois without knowing details such as these. A student needs to remember that to park, they need to plan out their trip and lot ahead of time, keep track of the meter time, and never assume a section on campus has free parking available. Truly the best options are to walk, bus, or bike to class.