A commuter student’s guide to parking on a walking campus

File photo by Cayla Nimmo.

The best advice ever given for commuters, created by commuters, is the rhetoric, “Park where your day ends.” There is nothing worse than parking in the Red Zone, for example, only to see that by nightfall, you’re on the other side of campus and have to make the 10-minute trek back.

Although it will take some time to get used to your schedule, check your schedule to see where your last class is located. If you plan on getting involved on campus, your day might extend beyond your classes; you might even find your home in the Donna E. Shalala Student Center (SC) like many other commuters.

Before the parking zones and their colors become confusing and start blending together, here is a breakdown of the best and worst places to park on campus.

Keep in mind that new students get the last batch of available parking passes – make sure you log on to the parking portal July 17 – or you may not get the zone for which you were hoping.

Non-commuter freshmen aren’t allowed to have vehicles on campus during the first year.

Before attempting to pick the Blue Zone, quit while you can. The Blue Zone is for residents only and that’s strictly enforced, 24/7. The zone is the closest to Hecht-Stanford freshman towers.

Freshmen will most likely get the last of the Green, Grey and Yellow zones. The Yellow Zone is near the Watsco Center, Hecht and Stanford Residential Colleges and the Wellness Center. It is a far walk from the rest of campus but has an abundance of parking spots – and, hey, at least you’ll get your steps in and be able to find your way to the basketball games.

The Pink and Brown Zones are some of the most coveted spots for commuters because of their proximity to the University Center (UC) and the SC, a hotspot for breaks between classes and student organization suites. Luckily, these spots don’t sell out so quickly.

However, an upcoming construction project for a $155-million residential complex for sophomores, juniors and seniors will be built on the parking lots between Lake Osceola and Stanford Drive – the location of the pink and blue lots. Site work is already underway and construction is set to begin in fall 2017.

While the construction will force students to take a different route to get to class, manager of Customer Service at Parking & Transportation Nick Poynter said the construction is essential to improve campus life, similar to how the SC enriched the campus landscape when it was built.

“Students had to suffer through the construction of the Student Center for a while for current students to enjoy it,” he said. “It’s just the nature of the beast.”

To ease parking congestion caused by construction, a lot behind the Watsco Center that is usually off limits will be open for commuters.

Students are also able to ride the Hurry ‘Cane shuttles between UM facilities. During the academic year, the shuttles run in 7-9 minute intervals at each stop. There are two routes running throughout the day, the Miller Circle and Stanford Routes.

New students are able to purchase a parking permit for the 2017-18 school year online at miami.edu/parking. Regular color zones are $521 with the exception of the Green Zone, which is $261. Resident student freshmen cannot park on campus. For more information, visit miami.edu/parking.