It is always difficult to find a parking spot in Champaign, but recently, people have taken matters into their own hands and have been parking in spots that have been paid for already.
The City of Champaign offers permit parking for both students and residents on the street in certain areas, but it is very expensive. One specific area has had a significant amount of issues this school year.
Area one, which is west of campus between 1st and Oak have had several problems with people using spots they didn’t pay for. Area one spots set someone back $540 just for the school year, which is a significant cost for most college students who reside in the area.
“It is especially frustrating after a long day of work when I look forward to coming home and unwinding,” said Vivian Pierropoulos, a senior at University of Illinois. “When someone is parked in my spot it adds on an additional hour of chaos to my evening. I hate to tow a college age student, but in the end of the day it’s something I pay for and use on a daily basis.”
There has been a major increase in cars being towed in the area according to Brian Batina, who has lived in the area for almost two years. “I have never seen so many cars being towed around here. It’s really unfair that people just park in spots that were paid for.”
Mirelle Haas had another issue with someone being parked in her spot. She ended up missing an entire class due to someone being parked there and lost attendance points. “It’s just really unfair,” she said.
Parking is enforced daily by the City of Champaign, but it’s rare for enforcement officers to be in area one according to Batina.
Local towing companies did not respond for a comment.