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1 Recent Alumnus

Parking: IF you do not live somewhere with a parking lot, then you will almost certainly get a ticket at some point. In C-Town it gets very hard to find parking, about 1% of it has parking laws that actually allow you to park during reasonable times. They are basically out to get you.

2 College Senior

Parking: Not enough parking and it's too expensive.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Freshman

Parking: There is no point of having a car on campus. The buses run all the time and there are free bus rides for all incoming freshman and first years.

2 people found this useful Report
2 College Senior

Parking: Cornell is known as one of the greenest campuses in America. That being said, parking on campus is intentionally made difficult to encourage walking, biking, public transportation, etc. However, MANY people of campus have cars, so definitely feel free to bring one if you do have it. It's so much more convenient to have one, especially if you plan on living off campus. There are paid parking spots in a few places on campus that charge money per 15 minutes, which can get expensive. But if you have to turn in a paper due at 8:00am and you woke up at 7:50am, having a car can be godsend. Also, free parking after 5:00pm!!

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Freshman

Parking: Freshman do not need a car. There's basically zero parking on central campus by all of your classes. Virtually everybody walks to class from North or Collegetown and it's not a bad walk. The bus system is perfectly suitable for campus travel.

1 person found this useful Report

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With such a large campus, expect to walk long distances from your home to campus and from class to class. Ithaca is notorious for its hills, so you’ll be sure to get your morning exercise. While having a car is convenient, it is pretty much useless if you expect to use it primarily to drive to class. If you’re willing to shell out the cash for an expensive parking pass, then you will still be hard pressed to find a favorable place in the vicinity of one of your lecture classrooms. However, due to the somewhat isolated nature of Ithaca, having a car is useful for weekend trips.

Cornell faces a serious space crunch in regards to on-campus parking, and most students are displeased with the number of spaces available. While you may sometimes get away with parking in loading zones, wary officials will be quick to ticket your vehicle after 30 minutes, and don’t expect any mercy from Cornell’s transportation department. It’s possible, from time to time, to find spaces in pay lots by Willard Straight and Friedman Athletic Center. The downside is that you have a maximum parking time of two hours, and both lots are still a hike to class. Most students walk to class because of the problematic and expensive parking situation, and they choose to leave their cars in residential lots.

Facts & Statistics

Student Parking Lot?
Freshmen Allowed to Park?
Approximate Parking Permit Cost
$300–$670 per year
Common Parking Tickets
  • Expired meter: $12
  • Fire lane: $50
  • Handicapped zone: $50
  • No parking zone: $25
Best Places to Find a Spot
  • Friedman Pay Lot
  • Willard Straight Pay Lot
  • North and West Campus
Good Luck Getting a Spot Here
Central campus, during peak hours, is difficult to find a legal place near any of your classes. Parking is much easier to find in the pay lots, which are usually less packed, but they are always a longer walk from central localities.
Getting a Parking Permit
Permit prices and eligibility are determined through a tier system with limited access to specific lots.
Parking Services
Commuter and Parking Services
(607) 255-PARK

Student Polls

What are the best places to find a parking spot on campus?    Based on 44 responses

  • 24% Don't even bother
  • 19% Parking Garage across from Barton Hall
  • 13% North and West Campus
  • 11% North Campus
  • 9% Parking lot across from Balch
  • 8% Willard Straight Pay Lot
  • 4% Friedman Pay Lot
  • 4% Meters located around campus
  • 3% B lot (meter or permit)
  • 3% Appel (metered)
  • 1% Either the driver pays or in tuition: Choose 1
  • 1% Peterson

How convenient is off-campus parking?    Based on 118 responses

  • 2% It's free, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 14% It's free, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 15% The cost is reasonable, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 31% The cost is reasonable, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 15% The cost is totally outrageous, but you can usually find a spot.
  • 22% The cost is totally outrageous, and there are never any open spots.

Rate the campus parking on the following topics    Based on 120 responses

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

What are the worst places to look for a parking spot on campus?    Based on 49 responses

  • 53% Anywhere on Central Campus.
  • 39% Campus during the week in general
  • 4% Willard Straight
  • 4% Leave car at home. Not worth it.


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