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2 College Junior

Parking: MOst parking on campus is permit only. To be lucky enough to nab a free spot you must be up early in the morning. Rhode Island is particularly gifted at ticketing so fines are frequent for those who dare to test. Generally speaking there is no need for a car while on campus, but should you need anything in the neighboring area a car is a must as the mass transit is more attune to a zombie take-over.

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2 College Sophomore

Parking: The majority of the parking is metered and you can't leave your car overnight.

3 Recent Alumnus

Parking: Not Many Cars – You're allowed to have a car, no one's going to stop you...but there isn't really anywhere to keep your car. Providence is really strict about having cars parked on curbs at night too. It's easier to just walk everywhere. There's no need for a car.

3 College Junior

Parking: Parking is limited and tends to be scattered around, luckily providence is small so there isn't too much of a need for cars anyways.

2 College Freshman

Parking: Freshmen can't have cars, and parking is very limited in the city.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Since the main part of RISD exists in the middle of courthouses, cafés, and office buildings, the places that would be available for parking are reserved for the business people and customers of those places until 5 p.m. on weekdays. Places that don't have this restriction only allow parking for one- or two-hour intervals. Many students who have cars end up walking to and from class during the day, and then bring their cars back in the evening so they won’t have to walk or take the shuttle late at night or early in the morning when they’ve finished in studio. For most students, this schedule is a pain, but many find it easy to get used to.

Get used to receiving a lot of tickets. Meter maids watch your car like a hawk—if you’re in a one-hour spot and you’ve been there for an hour and a half, expect something unfriendly on your windshield. The irony is that within the main part of Providence, unless you’re talking 4 or 5 in the morning, streets near the school are probably the easiest places to park. There are a few parking lots in the downtown area that are a five- to ten-minute walk from campus, but they are prciey. Furthermore, if you are not done in studio until 3 in the morning, it may not be safe to walk downtown by yourself to retrieve your car. There are also one or two garages downtown where spaces are available for rent if you live on campus or in an apartment that does not include a parking space. Unfortunately, the same situation applies where it may be unsafe to get to it late at night. Just remember: Walking is good for you.

Facts & Statistics

Student Parking Lot?
Freshmen Allowed to Park?
Approximate Parking Permit Cost
Student permits not available due to limited parking.
Common Parking Tickets
  • Double parking: $30
  • Expired meter: $15
  • Fire lane: $30
  • Handicapped zone: $30
  • No parking zone: $30
  • Overtime parking: $15
Best Places to Find a Spot
On Congdon St., after 10 a.m.
Good Luck Getting a Spot Here
The City of Providence.
Getting a Parking Permit
You may pick up a student parking permit for free from RISD Public Safety. These permits allow you to park in RISD lots between the hours of 7 p.m.–7 a.m.
Did You Know?
There's no overnight street parking allowed.

Student Polls

How convenient is off-campus parking?    Based on 26 responses

  • 0% It's free, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 27% It's free, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 8% The cost is reasonable, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 35% The cost is reasonable, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 4% The cost is totally outrageous, but you can usually find a spot.
  • 27% The cost is totally outrageous, and there are never any open spots.

Rate the campus parking on the following topics    Based on 26 responses

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