The Catholic University of America

Parking Best Practices

Do you need help navigating campus parking? This list of 10 tips will set you up for parking success.

1. Purchase a Parking Permit

If you need to park on campus, we recommend you purchase a parking permit. If you live off campus and need to commute each day, you'll want to purchase a commuter permit. Resident permits are available for students who live on campus and have at least a junior class standing. If you don't commute that often, you can request temporary permits (one-day, one-month, one-week, or 2-days/week).

2. Park In Your Designated Parking Location

This advice may seem simple (and it is), but if you park in your designated parking location, it takes away the guessing about where you can and can't park. If you have questions about your designated parking location, the campus parking map is an excellent resource to locate your parking location.

3. Know Your Overflow

Do you have a plan for where to park if your primary parking location is unavailable? We recommend knowing a few backup parking location options where your permit is valid. If a full parking lot, special event or construction project impacts your primary parking location, you may have to park farther away. Pro tip: take the campus shuttle to the center of campus.

4. Give Yourself Time to Find a Parking Spot and Get to Class

Parking on campus gets easier as everyone settles into their routine during the first month of classes. While you're getting acclimated to your schedule, we recommend you factor time into your commute for parking and walking to your destination. Traffic on campus increases during class changes, so try to arrive before or after this time if you can.

5. Don't Leave Your Car With the Flashers On

This is always tempting, especially if you are only going to be gone for a minute as you run into a building on campus (or to get food in the Pryz). However, leaving the flashers on will not save you from a ticket. If you need short-term parking, we recommend you park at the metered parking on campus for $2/hr.

6. Observe Overnight Parking Restrictions

Commuter students, this is especially important for you! Students with a commuter permit may not park on campus after 12 a.m. each day. Commuter students who live off campus and require regular overnight parking should purchase an overnight parking permit in the University garage.

7. Read the Parking Lot Signs

You know the campus parking map. Now, always read the parking lot signs before you park to make certain the space you are in is unrestricted for you. You'll also want to be mindful of special events or construction that might impact campus lots...more on this in the next two tips!

8. Pay Attention to Additional Posted Signage

You're an expert in reading lot signs and you know your overnight parking options! Equipped with this new knowledge, you find the perfect parking space (or at least so you think). When lots are going to close for events or construction, temporary signs, barricades or other traffic control devices are deployed. Pay attention to ensure that you're not parking in a lot that's about to close.

9. Always Read Emails From Transportation and Parking Services

Temporary posted signage is one way we inform parkers about impending lot closures. We also email all permit holders with critical parking update information - so please don't put us in your spam folder! We send emails to all our registrants when events, construction, etc. may affect their parking.

10. Set Reminders On Your Phone

We bet that renewing your parking permit, adding time at a parking meter station or relocating your vehicle for an event or construction project is one of several things you've been asked to remember this week. If you have trouble recalling when to do these things, set reminders on your phone. It's quick, easy and will help you avoid a citation.

More questions? Email us at cua-transportation@cua.edu, or call our office at 202-552-PARK (7275).