Facts vs. Fiction

There seem to be several misconceptions about Downtown parking. Here are some facts about the parking situation:.

Misconception: There is no place to park downtown.

Fact: There are approximately 600 public on-street parking spaces in the central business district (4 square blocks) of downtown. Additionally, there are 1452 parking spaces in three municipal parking garages. During the peak hours (primarily in the mornings and lunch time), it may seem like there is no parking downtown but there are several parking options. Free one or two hour parking is usually available within two blocks of your destination. It may not be right next to your destination but two blocks is hardly a walk in an urban area. In addition to on-street parking, two downtown parking garages offer free parking to patrons. The Main/Colfax and Leighton garages are free after 7:00 pm Mon-Fri and all day on weekends (excluding special events). While parking spaces may only be available on the upper floors of a garage, the garages are still a convenient parking option. Please view our printable parking map.

Misconception: Walking in downtown is unsafe if I park far from my destination.

Fact: Walking in downtown South Bend is very safe. The South Bend Police Department patrols downtown regularly, conducts bike patrols during the summer and has an enhanced presence downtown during special events. During the day and evenings, DTSB Ambassadors are present in the downtown area to keep it clean and provide hospitality to visitors (M-Sat 7am-10pm). Additionally, Ampco System Parking workers also monitor the garages M-F 7:00am-7:00pm.

Misconception: I have to pay for parking in the evening and on weekends.

Fact: On-street parking in downtown South Bend is free after 6 pm and all day on weekends. Additionally, the Main/Colfax and Leighton Garages are free after 7:00 pm from Mon-Fri and all day on weekends (excluding special events).

Misconception: If I come downtown for business, I should be able to park for free all day on the street.

Fact: With a population of approximately 110,000 people, South Bend is a mid size urban area. To expect that on-street parking should be unrestricted all day in a City our size is impractical. We have a large downtown working population including a large number of visitors who come downtown on a daily basis. The time limit on parking allows parkers to rotate on a regular basis allowing others to park. Without a time limit on parking, there would be no space available for visitors whom downtown businesses rely on to operate. People intending to come downtown for a longer duration should park in one of the several parking garages or numerous surface lots with rates as low as $2/day. Please obey no parking, handicap and hourly parking signs to avoid having your vehicle towed.

Other Parking Tips

Arrive Early

If you’re coming downtown for dinner or a special event, we suggest that you arrive a few minutes early. The free on-street parking spaces tend to be taken early but spaces are usually available within a block or two from your destination. Some parking garages offer free parking after 7:00 pm and there are a few surface lots that are free after 6:00 pm.

Other Facts/Tips

The City of South Bend owns three parking garages and five surface parking lots in the downtown. Other garages and surface lots are privately owned.

Ampco System Parking manages and operates the City parking garages as well as two surface lots. DTSB manages 3 surface lots for the City.

The Marriott parking garage is operated by Ampco System Parking.

On-street parking is enforced by Ampco System Parking.

There are numerous privately owned surface parking lots throughout downtown. Most are restricted to paid parkers or business visitors on a 24 hour basis and monitored by a towing company. Obey all no parking signs accordingly to avoid having your car towed.

If you decide to park in the Wayne Street (Wayne & St. Joseph) or Wells Fargo (Wayne & Main) garages, please plan to depart by 7:00pm or your vehicle will be inaccessible until the garage reopens.

All garages have elevators for your convenience.

For more parking information, please contact Ampco System Parking at 574-232-3848.

Download the downtown parking map here.


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