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2 College Junior

Parking: I typically try to avoid parking downtown. Paying could be worse in terms of price, but I don't want to pay under any circumstances. There is a good bus system, so I use that as much as possible.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Freshman

Parking: Not much available parking, especially overnight, and the available parking usually is expensive

3 College Freshman

Parking: There is not a lot of parking available but most students don't need it. Everything you could need is within walking distance and the public transportation is very good. Not many people have cars, most use bikes or mopeds.

2 College Freshman

Parking: PARKING IS TERRIBLE! DO not bring a car to Madison! There isn't really a need because the bus will take you anywhere!

4 College Junior

Parking: Parking is usually available most times it's free for me because I'm a night student.

2 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Students overwhelmingly agree that parking at UW is awful. Whether you're on the streets or in a ramp, finding a spot to leave your car can be frustrating. Students who need a car on campus usually decide to buy a permit. However, your reserved parking spot may be a few blocks away and at a high price. Parking only gets worse during athletic event weekends or on concert nights. Students are rarely able to find a spot during these times. As a result, many students opt to use mopeds rather than cars when traveling about campus.

While the city offers three ramps near campus, it isn't enough to convince students to bring a car to campus. The majority of the time, parking becomes more of a headache than it's worth. Mopeds are more popular because the school is more accommodating to them. Almost every academic building has areas sectioned off for mopeds to park. UW also offers a campus shuttle for those needing to get farther on campus. Overall, students should really take advantage of the various transportation options before deciding to bring a car to UW.

Facts & Statistics

Student Parking Lot?
There isn't a wide availability of parking for students, as most students depend on other forms of transportation. There is metered parking around most of the dorms and public parking ramps by State and Lake Street.
Freshmen Allowed to Park?
Approximate Parking Permit Cost
$70–$100 per month
Common Parking Tickets
  • Expired meter: $20
  • Handicapped zone: $200
  • No parking zone: $40
Best Places to Find a Spot
  • Wisconsin Avenue
  • Gilman Street pay lots
  • State Sreet parking ramp
Good Luck Getting a Spot Here
  • Langdon Street
  • Carroll Street
  • Park Street
  • Randall Street
Getting a Parking Permit
Students are sometimes able to purchase permits through the dormitory they are living in. Otherwise, real estate agencies like Steve Brown and Isthmus apartments offer limited parking spots in their various lots. UW does offer parking permits to students who submit an application, and the sooner they do it the better. Parking spaces are assigned mid-August for the upcoming year. Don't be surprised if you are not awarded a spot, though. Those wishing to contest can fill out an appeal form, but with such limited availability, it is merely a futile attempt.
Parking Services
Transportation Services
21 North Park Str.
(608) 263-6666

Student Polls

How convenient is off-campus parking?    Based on 181 responses

  • 2% It's free, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 8% It's free, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 12% The cost is reasonable, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 43% The cost is reasonable, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 16% The cost is totally outrageous, but you can usually find a spot.
  • 19% The cost is totally outrageous, and there are never any open spots.

Rate the campus parking on the following topics    Based on 183 responses

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