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3 College Freshman

Parking: There's a parking lot on Cherry, but you have to pay to park there, unless you're there for a short visit, then you can get a free pass. For events, you do have to pay or try to park off campus, which is horrible.

2 College Freshman

Parking: Good luck finding a spot.

2 College Sophomore

Parking: There are not many parking options. There are a few lots near campus but they are expensive and fill up.

3 College Freshman

Parking: I don't have much experience with parking here.

3 College Junior

Parking: The parking is not great, but that is because we live in a city. SU offers a fair bit of parking structure parking, but you have to have permits to park in them. They are fairly comparable to other city parking structures. There is on street parking, both metered and no metered in the more residential areas. The non metered parking fills up fairly quickly. Parking is one problem of living in the city, however I haven't owned a car for the past 3 years, and frankly I DO NOT PLAN TO buy one. I feel that everything I need is within walking distance. Seattle is a very walkable city, and if I do need to travel farther, I can get a FREE bus pass from our school very easily.


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Parking has been a problem not just at Seattle University but on First Hill and Capitol Hill for years and probably will continue to be even with the forthcoming expansion of public transit. If by any means you can get by without a car, do so, or you will have to be prepared to occasionally arrive 10 minutes later than normal and find the lots full. That might seem like an exaggeration, but there aren’t enough spots for the number of students who do drive, and given how expensive passes actually are, it is probably a better idea to just pick up one of the discounted bus passes from public safety and be prepared to stand at a Metro stop every morning and evening.

That being said, if you do choose to drive, the hill above campus is your best bet to find a spot, but even then you have to get there early, and you are never guaranteed a spot. Don’t even bother trying anywhere along 12th Avenue or Madison, and even Jefferson can get to be a headache on occasion. The Residential Parking Zone program is an option from the city of Seattle, but those passes are only available to residents of a neighborhood, and they cost about $45 for a single cycle (usually two years, though some last only one). There is also always the option of parking in a lot, but that can be more of a hassle than it is worth sometimes.

In the end, the park and ride system might be the best bet for those living off campus (especially far out in places like West Seattle or Rainier Valley), as you would still have the independence that owning a car can bring but would not have to deal with the nightmare that is First Hill/Capitol Hill parking. If you’re living on campus, don’t bring one unless you really see it as essential to your lifestyle. It is easy, however, to learn to live without one.

Facts & Statistics

Student Parking Lot?
Freshmen Allowed to Park?
Approximate Parking Permit Cost
  • $131 per semester for carpoolers
  • $146 per semester for evening commuters
  • $186 per semester for Connolly only
  • $256 per semester for day commuters
  • $256 per semester for on-campus residents
  • $55 per semester for evening parking card
Common Parking Tickets
  • No valid permit: $25
  • Over time limit: $20
  • Parked in prohibited area: $25
  • Parked in space for disabled: $100
Best Places to Find a Spot
The Murphy Apartment Garage is a good bet, but you need a parking pass to be able to get a spot. If you don't want one or can't afford it, the few blocks above campus are a better bet than most areas.
Good Luck Getting a Spot Here
12th Avenue
Getting a Parking Permit
Parking permits can be purchased from Public Safety and are easy to buy. Watch out, though: parking permits are oversold, which can make finding a spot difficult at high traffic times. Considering the prices of the permits, this makes for additional red-hot road rage in the lots.
Parking Services
Department of Public Safety and Transportation
(206) 296-5990

Student Polls

How convenient is off-campus parking?    Based on 54 responses

  • 0% It's free, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 7% It's free, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 11% The cost is reasonable, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 43% The cost is reasonable, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 19% The cost is totally outrageous, but you can usually find a spot.
  • 20% The cost is totally outrageous, and there are never any open spots.

Rate the campus parking on the following topics    Based on 52 responses

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


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