If you decide to bring a car to school this year, you’ll find that parking on campus – not to mention outrageous Santa Barbara gas prices – will certainly have a slimming effect on your wallet. And, unfortunately, the one loophole to paying these prices will probably soon be closed.

There are three lots in which residence hall residents may park. A permit for Parking Lot B1, located between Santa Rosa and Anacapa Residence Halls, costs $324 for the year, as does Parking Lot B3, located much farther away behind Harder Stadium. Parking Lot B2, located in front of the stadium, costs $113 per quarter. Contact Transportation and Parking Services for a permit.

Though farther away from the center of campus, Parking Lots B2 and B3 are good choices for residents of Manzanita Village, San Rafael or Francisco Torres, since it’s not that long of a bike ride to the areas.

But even closer is the new Parking Lot 22, located right next door to San Rafael. With 1,000 parking spaces, 60 for coastal access, the new structure will open this fall. However, Laura Condon, assistant director of TPS, said her department has yet to decide if residents can use the parking area. Until such a decision is made, San Rafael and Manzanita Village residents will just have to hold on to hope.

While the following option is far too expensive for students to use on a daily basis, parents or other visitors to your new home may purchase daily permits for any lot. From 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., parking permits cost $2 for 30 minutes, $3 for one hour and $8 for a full day. Parking costs 25 cents for every five minutes in metered parking spaces, $2 for all-day weekend parking and $2 on weeknights after 5 p.m.

The most important thing about parking on campus is this: Don’t leave your car unattended without a parking permit. The TPS minions – who are nice people, but too fast at their work – can swoop down on an unsuspecting car faster than you can say, “But I just ran in for a second!”

While it is possible to sweet talk your way out of a ticket, most of the time you get stuck with a $35 fine. That money would be much better spent on a nice bottle of booze. Or, more realistically, on one gallon of gas.

There is a free alternative to parking on campus, although it might not remain that way forever. Students can park in Isla Vista free of charge, but Santa Barbara County is currently working on a parking permit system for the beachside town in order to limit parking strictly to its residents.

Because the I.V. parking plan can potentially restrict coastal access, the California Coastal Commission, which is responsible for preserving coastal land for the public, must grant the county permission to implement it.

Santa Barbara County 3rd District Supervisor Brooks Firestone said the CCC will hold a meeting regarding the parking plan in October, but it is unlikely that the plan will be started this year.

“[The CCC has] suspicion of anything that limits their public parking on beaches,” Firestone said. “We have to demonstrate to them that there will be adequate parking for beaches.”

For students sneaking off into I.V. to park, they can still come back to campus after 5 p.m. to take advantage of the Night and Weekend parking permit. Paid for through a $3.33 per student per quarter lock-in fee, students can use the permit to park on campus from 5 p.m. until 7 a.m. the next day, Monday through Friday and also all day on weekends.

Students can order a yearly permit from the TPS website at http://www.tps.ucsb.edu/ and pay $4.95 for shipping and handling, or they can save their money for a Freebirds burrito and just pick it up on a monthly basis at the TPS office, located next to Harder Stadium.