Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Dreaded Parking Problem

It seems parking is always a problem for big events at the Auditorium, and unfortunately there’s not much we can do about it (outside of completely redesigning the campus layout). But we can offer a few tips to help you. Free parking is available in lots A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and I, as shown on this campus map.

Use the teardrop if you want valet service (which costs $8) or if you need to drop off a passenger. Otherwise, try to avoid this area; it gets very congested.

"Premium parking" is in Lot E. This normally costs $5, but if you become a Friend of Sangamon Auditorium – at the Terrific level or above – you get at least 2 vouchers for free premium parking.

The closest accessible parking is available just south of the premium parking area (Lot E) by the Auditorium loading dock. To get to these spaces, use the small road that runs along the south edge of Lot E; it’s marked with a sign for Auditorium Receiving.

The biggest tip is to arrive early! UIS has night classes Monday-Thursday, so if you’re arriving for a 7:30 p.m. show, some of the closer parking may already be full of commuter students who arrived for a 6 p.m. class. If you arrive late you may not be allowed in the hall right away; some performers want to avoid distractions in the audience and they specify when people are allowed inside.

The campus police are not shy about giving parking tickets, so don’t try to create your own space at the end of a row or in the grass.

If you don’t mind some walking and you want to avoid traffic you can use Lot B. It’s a huge lot and I’ve never seen it completely full. If the weather is bad you can enter Brookens Library, go to Level 1 (a.k.a. the basement) and use the tunnels to get to the PAC.

My favorite place to park is Lot C. Even though it feels a little farther away, it’s actually the same distance as the very popular Lot D. As an added bonus, if you go east when you leave, you can cut through Lot B to get out to University Drive (a.k.a. the circle road) and completely avoid the intersection at teardrop.