The three biggest complaints about Carleton are the weather, the food, and the parking. There's nothing that anyone can do about the weather, and people complain about the food everywhere. But the parking at Carleton deserves every complaint it gets. If you live on campus and bring a car, you must place it in dead storage unless you have a valid reason to use it. If they find you using your car without permission, you'll get ticketed. Campus security does actually patrol the streets near campus for Carleton cars. The college has two lots-by the Rec Center and the football stadium. Stadium parking is preferred because it's closer, but both lots are far enough away from classes and dorms to discourage students from using them.
There are ways around getting ticketed. You can park in campus lots after 5 p.m., and then park in the street during the day. You should move your car every day to avoid tickets. Some students even use St. Olaf bumper stickers to fool campus security (they can't ticket visitors). You can't leave your car overnight on the street in the winter because of snow removal. You can get a parking spot in one of the dorm lots if you can convince the college that you have to use your car every day, but it's difficult and there's a lot of red tape preventing you from getting spots. A car is nice if you're an upperclassman, but freshmen and sophomores don't need one. Come to school without a car, then decide if the hassle of parking is worth it.