A Commuter’s Guide to Parking on Campus

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On the days I don’t feel up to a leisurely nine-mile stroll from home to UWO, I drive my car instead. I haven’t felt up to this stroll in awhile…or ever, so I’ve had to become quite the expert on finding parking on campus. Although it isn’t necessarily an art form, there are certain tactics that can make finding a parking spot an easier and more successful process. Here are some ways to master parking at UW Oshkosh…

  1. Get a parking pass: It might cost you a little bit of money – and it’s not guaranteed parking – but it is very convenient to have nonetheless
  2. Leave early. Don’t count on finding a spot the second you arrive on campus. Parking is usually great before 8 a.m. – so even if your class doesn’t start until 9 a.m., I still recommend getting to campus early. Go grab some breakfast or save some studying for those mornings.
  3. Peruse your options. Can’t find a spot in one lot? Try another. Repeat as necessary.
  4. Sit and wait. Only go from lot to lot for a little while. If you still can’t find a spot, pick a lot and wait. Eventually, someone will be done with class and leave the parking lot. I’ve had the best luck with this technique in the lot next to the heating plant, the one across from the Frederic March Theatre, and the lots next to Kolf.
  5. Be aware of class times. You’re more likely to secure a spot if you arrive on campus near or a little after the time previous classes get out. For my 9:10 class last semester, I would get to the parking lot around 9:00, and soon enough people would be leaving.
  6. Take advantage of the city streets. Sometimes parking on the street will get you closer to your classes than a lot you might find a spot in. Last semester, my first class of each day was in the Arts and Communications building, so I often chose to park on some side streets near the building. This type of parking usually has a four hour limit, so you have to be careful.
  7. Don’t leave. Once you have a spot, it’s wise to stay there until you depart for the day. Depending on the time of day, it can be difficult to get a spot back if you leave for a bit and then come back to campus – especially around peak class times.
  8. Give yourself enough time for breaks. If you do leave campus for lunch, appointments, etc., make sure you have plenty of time to find a spot and make it back to class on time. There’s no such thing as a 30-minute break when parking is involved.
  9. Trick yourself. I have found it beneficial to set the clock in my car to be a little bit ahead so you can have an easier time fulfilling tip No. 2.
  10. If you have a pass, don’t forget it. If you have a parking pass that is transferrable between different vehicles, make sure you put it in the right car. Similarly, if you have the sticker parking pass, make sure to drive the car with the sticker. The parking people mean business.
  11. Drive and park safely. Always wear your seatbelt. :)


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