Tickets, lack of availability cause conflict surrounding Campustown parking


Iowa State Daily

Need a place to park but don’t have a permit? Parking meters are located in various lots around campus. These meters can be used at any time, but be sure to check the signs- many meters have time limits. 

Katie Ingle

Campustown is becoming increasingly notorious for its complicated parking situations. 

Lack of availability and tickets tend to arise mainly on the streets of Welch Avenue, Hayward Avenue, Chamberlain Street and Stanton Avenue.

Most parking along Welch Avenue and Chamberlain Street prohibits parking between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m.. Along Chamberlain Street and Knapp Street, parking is restricted Monday, Wednesday and Friday between the hours of 2 or 3 a.m. to 11 p.m. Also, on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Concerns have been raised by students across campus about the strict enforcement of these rules. Some individuals are worried that college students may decide to attempt to drive home after a night out to avoid getting a ticket or being towed.

Nolan Wengert, senior in biochemistry, lives right outside of Campustown and has experienced the regulated parking first hand.

“When I do park it is a hassle because 90 percent of the time there’s no parking on Welch unless you go all the way to the back,” Wengert explained. “I think it’s a concern because kids will be more likely to drive under the influence and put their lives in danger.”

Susan Gwiasda, Ames public relations officer, explained why the parking, specifically on Welch, is the way that it is.

“We did a lot of public outreach for the Welch Avenue redesign,” Gwiasda said. “We went to Welch Avenue and did pop-ups asking people what they would like to see changed. We met personally with administration. We did online surveys and packaged that information to give to city council.”

Ames City Council made the final call on the updates made to Welch Avenue based off of the feedback that they received from public outreach.

Not only students are being affected by the absence of parking. Business owners along Welch Avenue have called attention to the parking situation, saying it hurts their business and repels customers.

A petition was introduced at the council’s March 26 meeting against the removal of parking on Welch Avenue, specifically the absence of handicap parking. 

The petition has been signed by more than 700 people. 

Julie Peterson, owner of University Barbers on Welch Avenue said parking issues have negatively affected her customers.

“We have had several customers that need the handicap spot,” Peterson said. “It’s the only handicap spot on that block. We have several [customers] that are physically not able to walk further than where that spot is.”

The parking in Campustown and Ames in general always seems to be in need of improvement. 

Susan Bradbury, professor in community and regional planning, said she believes the problems are inevitable.

“Parking is always an issue, especially around commercial areas,” Bradbury said.

The Ames City Council makes executive decisions concerning parking for the city of Ames.