Post Classifieds

The Perpetual Parking Problem

By Alaina Burris
On September 21, 2018

Photo by Bruna Pacheco

“Is that a spot?”

“I can’t tell.”

Most days at any given hour, cars creep through the parking lots on campus, trying to determine whether or not there are spots available.

“That looks like one.”

Inch by inch, those cars pull forward, their drivers trying to tell if there really is a spot between the red and white pickup trucks. Hopeful, the wheels turn toward the spot, only to find a small, black Honda hidden there.


Because of the surplus of cars on campus, parking has been one of the hardest things to manage this year. There are parking lots near each building, but most drivers are left to determine whether it’s worth it to look, or to just assume that there’s no spot and park across campus.

“I think what surprises me the most is that we have such a big incoming class this year, that we now have a need for more parking,” says freshman Kaitlyn George. “What also surprises me is that coaches and teachers have to park on the street due to the overflow of cars this year.”

With almost every space taken most of the time, students, teachers and faculty resort to parking on 11th street, the only street surrounding the university without “No Parking” signs.

“My friend and I call the far parking lot [behind the Hull Center] ‘Africa,’” says sophomore Whitney Prockish. “This year, that parking lot fills up quick, like people are parking on the street. Last year, no one parked there. There’s so many more students here this year, so there’s no parking. We really need more.”

With 10 available parking lots on campus, there are only eight available to students, employees and faculty at all times. The two remaining lots, Tauy Jones and the Horseshoe, are reserved for employees, faculty and visitors between the hours of 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. After those times, they are open parking to anyone.

Each lot is designated with reserved spaces for handicap, the Residence Directors, the Chancellor and the President visitors. Under no circumstances are students allowed to park in these spaces, except for proper authorization for handicap spaces.

“It’s very frustrating to have reserved spots,” says freshman Brett Perry. “There are so many students and there aren’t as many parking spots, so I have to park all the way across campus. I always try and park in those spots, but then I see they’re reserved.”

Parking is frustrating for students who live on campus, making several wish they lived off campus. However, they don’t quite realize how frustrating coming back on campus for classes, athletics or clubs can be.  

“Parking on campus is pretty easy since I have earlier classes,” says sophomore Ethan Cowen. “I usually snag a spot in the Martin parking lot. But for the later classes, I park in the Hull Center parking lot. Getting here early, before everyone who lives off campus arrives, leaves a lot of better spots open. Once 9 a.m. rolls around though, you’d most likely have to park in the Hull Center.”

Parking in an unauthorized spot can result in ticketing, which will be charged to the student’s personal Student Subsidiary Account. Payments can be made in the Accounts Payable Department (second floor of Tauy Jones) or the Accounts Receivable Department (first floor of Administration).

If you believe that you don’t deserve the ticket you have been given, you can fill out the Parking Appeal eForm, found in the MyOttawa Portal.

The eight parking lots available to students are:

  • Behind Atkinson and Behan Halls with an entrance on 9th St.
  • Behind Brown and Bennett Halls with an entrance on 9th St.
  • Otter’s Way, with an entrance on Mulberry St.
  • S College St. between Ward Science Hall and the Mabee Center with an entrance on 11th St.
  • S College St. between Martin Hall and Wilson Field House
  • Martin Hall with an entrance on 11th St.
  • Behind the Wilson Field House and the Hull Center for Athletics with entrances on Mulberry St. and 11th St.
  • Sports Complex, east of Mulberry St. with an entrance on 11th St.



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