Downtown Parking Questions

Visitor Parking

Where can I park when I visit Downtown?

There are four centrally located visitor parking locations where parking is allowed in different time increments up to 10 hours maximum:

View these locations on the getDown brochure map on the Parking Maps page.

When do I have to pay the meters?

Payment is required Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Parking is FREE all day on Saturdays & Sundays, on City Holidays (see below for a list of City Holidays), and from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. during the week. Parking is prohibited at on-street meters, in City lots from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. for cleaning activities. Overnight parking is allowed in the Hill Street Parking Deck and in space #s 6 and 7 in the University & Market Lot.

What are City Holidays?

City Holidays on which parking is free are:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Veteran’s Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Day after Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Eve
  • Christmas Day

How much does it cost to park at the meters?

Meter rates vary by location – rates and time limits are posted on each meter. Parking costs as little as $.25 per hour on the perimeter of Downtown and never more than $.75 per hour, even in the busiest areas. Rates are posted on colored stickers on each meter pole.

What payment methods are available?

  • Meters: Accept Coins and CashKey (go to the CashKey page for more information on this cashless way to pay at a meter).
  • Pay Stations: Two pay stations are located in the University & Market Lot which accept bills, coins, credit or debit (VISA, MasterCard & Discover). To use the Pay Stations:
  1. Note your stall number
  2. Proceed to pay station
  3. Keep your receipt and go to your destination


  • Hill Street Parking Deck: Cash, credit, debit (VISA, MasterCard & Discover) and merchant validated tickets accepted.

What is a pay station?

Pay stations are used in the University & Market Lot in place of individual parking meters. Payment is required to park in the lot and must be submitted into one of either of the two pay stations for the length of time you will be parked. View the Pay Station Guide for instructions.

How long can I park?

Before 5 p.m., see the rate/time limit sticker on the meter. After 5 p.m., at meters with Blue labels, you can pay for up to 4 hours at one time.

Color coded meter labels help you determine where to park depending on your length of stay:

  • Red = 30 minutes or less to grab lunch or a cup of coffee to go
  • Blue = 2 hour maximum for lunch or some light shopping
  • Orange = 3 or 4 hour maximum for a movie or museum visit
  • Green = 10 hour maximum for a day-long meeting or outing downtown

How do time limits work?

You may park in a time limited parking zone only as long as the meter label indicates or as posted on signs. In these zones, vehicles may not park on either side of the street for more than two hours in a three-hour period. You may not simply feed and remain parked at the same meter. Time limits are enforced in Downtown until 5 p.m. on weekdays.

Permit Parking

Go to the Downtown Permit Parking page for more information.

I work Downtown. How do I obtain a permit?

The City offers daytime permit parking at a variety of rates in many different locations. Permit parking is a great option, costing less than paying a meter daily. For employees that work irregular or part-time hours, other options, such as using a CashKey to park at a $.25 or $.50 meter may be less expensive. Customer service staff in the Parking Programs Office can advise you on the best options for your particular situation – call 403-4700 for more information.

Does the City offer one-day parking permits for Downtown?

Although the City does not offer one-day parking permits for Downtown, all-day parking options currently include the Hill Street Parking Deck and the 10-hour meters located in the Neil & Washington Lot and the North First Street Lot. Parking is allowed for up to 9 nine hours in designated spaces in the University & Market Lot.

I live Downtown. What are my parking options?

The City offers a limited number of 24/7 resident only parking permits, and other 24/7 permits are also available. Most of these permits are located in the Hill Street Parking Deck. Contact the Parking Programs Office at 217-403-4700 for more information.

I live Downtown. What are overnight parking options for my guests?

Overnight parking is available in the Hill Street Parking Deck and in space #s 6 & 7 in the University & Market Lot. Parking is not allowed between 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. at on-street meters or in City parking lots for cleaning activities.