Parking at Bates can be a problem, even if you drive one of those cute little Euros. If you don’t get a spot in the parking lottery, which happens to a lot of people, you can petition for a parking permit. Most of the time, however, you’re out of luck. Even if you do get a parking permit, it can be really difficult to find a spot. A lot of upperclassmen live in the campus-owned houses, and there are a few lots in the general area of Wood Street, where many of the houses are, but there aren’t nearly enough spots for all the students who want to park there. Students will often circle the Wood Street lots several times before they’re forced to give up and park in the Merrill lot. At the moment, Bates just doesn’t have the resources to provide a parking spot for everyone on campus who needs one.
During the spring and fall, people are allowed to park on the streets of Lewiston, which does help alleviate the parking problem to a degree. But Lewiston operates a winter parking ban from November 15 to April 15. Also, parking on the streets can be confusing and frustrating because of the vast number of parking regulation signs. Recently, the city of Lewiston prohibited parking in the same space for more than 24 hours, so students who manage to find a space on the side of the road have to move their cars at least once a day. Some students choose to rent a space for the year from someone in the city. These spaces tend to cost more than a parking permit at Bates, they’re not always plowed, and they’re usually pretty far from the campus, but if a student is determined to have a car at school, renting a space from a company or a private individual could be a last-resort solution. All in all, parking in the city does not do much to make the situation any better. While some schools don’t let first years have a space, the parking situation at Bates is still far from ideal. It’s hard to get a parking permit, and it’s hard to find a spot once you do.