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3 College Junior

Parking: Hard for freshmen to get parking, but much easier as upperclassmen.

2 College Sophomore

Parking: Hard to get a permit, even harder to find parking in the winter. Lewiston has a city wide ban on parking during snow storms... where do they expect you to put your car??

3 College Sophomore

Parking: Below Average – Limited parking spaces that are close to dorms and you can't park on the streets during the winter. Merril lot holds the most spaces but is in the most inconvenient location


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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.

Facts & Statistics

Student Parking Lot?
Freshmen Allowed to Park?
Approximate Parking Permit Cost
Common Parking Tickets
  • Fire lane: $20
  • Handicapped zone: $10
  • No parking zone: $10
  • No permit/expired permit: $20
  • Parked overnight where prohibited: $50
  • Vehicle banned (vehicles with five or more tickets): $75
Best Places to Find a Spot
There are several parking lots on Wood Street, and if you wait long enough, you can find a spot there. There are always spots open in the lot behind Merrill Gymnasium, but it's a good 15-minute walk from the rest of campus.
Good Luck Getting a Spot Here
The Adams parking lot
Getting a Parking Permit
Parking permits are assigned through a lottery, with a certain number of spaces allotted for appeals. If students fail to get a spot through the lottery, they can appeal and offer reasons they need to have a car on campus (working off campus, need to travel, and so on). There is also a second round of appeals, in which students can attempt to wheedle their way into a parking spot again. Parking is also available on the streets of Lewiston during the spring and autumn, but the city runs a winter parking ban from November 15 to April 15. On-campus parking permits are limited, and spots can be very difficult to find. The largest parking lot, behind Merrill Gym, is a long walk from the main campus, so most students will circle more centrally-located parking areas to avoid walking half a mile in the cold Maine winter. Parking on campus required a permit at all times; however, no Bates parking permit is needed to park on the street because city street parking is controlled by the police. There is an overnight parking ban on the city streets from Nov. 15-April 15.
Parking Services
Security and Campus Safety
245 College St.
(207) 786-6254

Student Polls

How convenient is off-campus parking?    Based on 19 responses

  • 16% It's free, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 32% It's free, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 21% The cost is reasonable, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 21% The cost is reasonable, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 5% The cost is totally outrageous, but you can usually find a spot.
  • 5% The cost is totally outrageous, and there are never any open spots.

Rate the campus parking on the following topics    Based on 19 responses

Very poor
  • Distance from class
  • Distance from dorms
  • Ease of finding a spot
  • Parking enforcement
  • Permit cost
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