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The roads on campus are private lanes maintained by the college for the convenience of its personnel, students, and visitors. Since these roads are used for pedestrian and vehicular traffic, all vehicles must be operated at or below the posted speed limit of 20 MPH. Applicable Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Laws are enforced.


  1. Students, faculty, and staff who wish to park on college property must apply to the Department of Public Safety (Benjamin West House) for a parking permit.
  2. The person who registers a vehicle is responsible for assuring that the vehicle, regardless of who drives it, is parked in conformance with these regulations.
  3. Faculty and staff permits should be clearly displayed on the rear view mirror of the permitted vehicle with the permit number facing the windshield. Student permits shall be displayed on the bumper of the permitted vehicle left of the license plate. Permits shall not be obscured by the plate or any other equipment on or in the vehicle.


  1. Any student, faculty, or staff member who wishes to park a motor vehicle on property owned or controlled by the college must obtain a parking permit. Permits are not transferable. Permits may only be used on vehicles registered to the permit number.
  2. All vehicles parked on college property must display a current, valid registration plate. Where applicable, a current certificate of inspection must also be displayed.
  3. Parking is permitted exclusively in between two white lines where signs indicate it is permitted. All other areas not specifically designated for parking shall be considered NO PARKING zones.
  4. Motorcycles and motorized pedal cycles shall not be parked in a building or within ten feet of a building unless a motorcycle parking area is designated. The same rules pertain to motorcycles and motorized pedal cycles as to cars; but more than one of these vehicles may be parked in one regular parking space. A motorcycle or motorized pedal cycle must have a valid parking permit to be parked on college property
    1. Double parked blocking another vehicle
    2. In signed NO PARKING areas
    3. In a signed Accessible Parking space without a state-issued disability parking placard
    4. Blocking fire lanes, fire exits, or within 15 feet of a fire hydrant
    5. In loading zones unless actually loading; flashers must be on and loading time is limited to 20 minutes
    6. In service entrances, construction sites, doorways or straddling painted lines
    7. In areas where the permit of that vehicle is not valid
    8. Over or adjacent to yellow lines or curbs 
    9. On grass or walkways
  6. Faculty and staff members must park in designated faculty-staff spaces only, and may not park in visitor spaces, student spaces, spaces signed for other users, or other prohibited spaces.

  7. If you feel you have a valid reason for a temporary parking permit or a temporary exception to the parking regulations, please contact Mary Lou Lawless at 610-328-8671 to discuss your request before you park.  Permission for a parking exception will not be granted retroactively.


Depending on the seriousness and frequency of the offense(s), a vehicle is subject to one or more of the following sanctions:

  1. A fine of $20 to $100 depending on the violation
  2. Revoking the right to use college parking facilities
  3. Use of a "vehicle immobilizer" (the BOOT)
  4. Towing the vehicle off college property at the owner's expense

The college reserves the right to immobilize, remove, and impound abandoned vehicles or any vehicle found on college property in violation of posted parking regulations, without a current permit, with an unauthorized, altered, or revoked permit, parked in fire lanes or reserved spaces, blocking a loading dock or trash dumpster, parked on lawns or walkways, if the vehicle is determined to be a health or safety hazard, or if notice has been made informing the owner/operator that the vehicle will be removed.

The owner or operator will be responsible for costs involved in immobilizing, removing, impounding, and storing the vehicle.

Car towed immediately in cases of compromised safety or accessibility

In the case of a car parked in a fire lane, loading zone, or signed accessible space, or in any case where there is a safety or accessibility issue, the car will be towed immediately.   Public Safety will not wait for multiple tickets to accrue or attempt to contact the driver before towing.

Cars without permits parked in permit-required spaces

For non-permitted cars parked in faculty-staff-permit or student-permit spaces between 7:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, Public Safety will issue a traffic citation for “Failure to obtain or display parking permit.”  After two citations, the car will be issued a Boot/Tow Notice.

Citation Fines and Adjudication


  • $20 fine for the following infractions:
    • Prohibited Parking by Sign or Yellow Line
    • Overtime in 20-minute zone or 2-hour zone
    • Blocking a crosswalk, driveway, dumpster or other vehicle
    • Parking while permit is suspended or revoked
    • Taking two parking spaces for a single vehicle
    • Failure to obtain parking permit
    • Failure to display parking permit as instructed
    • Parking in other than an authorized lot or space
  • $50 fine for the following infractions:
    • Exceeding posted speed limit
    • Reckless driving
    • Driving/parking on sidewalks or grass
    • Parking in a fire lane or zone
    • Disobeying a traffic control device or barrier
    • Parking in roadway (including Parrish East and West Circles and the Lang/LPAC Circle)
  • $100 fine for the following infractions:
    • Blocking a fire hydrant, fire escape, or exit
    • Parking in a signed handicapped-accessible parking space
    • Removal of boot
    • Towing fine (not including fees from towing company)

Citation Fines Payment and Adjudication

Parking on campus is limited.  A parking permit is not a guarantee of an available parking space. Illegal parking for personal convenience or for insufficient space within any given lot will not be considered a valid reason for appeal. 

Do not expect parking fines or penalties to be waived.

Drivers have 30 days to pay a citation fine. Fines are discounted 20% if paid within 5 days of issue.

The driver may appeal the citation within 10 days.  Appeals will not be accepted unless they are submitted in writing on the proper form.  Appeal decisions are final.  Citation appeals will be handled by Public Safety and the Transportation and Parking Committee. If the driver’s appeal is denied, the driver’s 30 days to pay the citation begins on the date of the appeal denial.

To have a boot removed, the driver must pay the boot-removal fine of $100 and all outstanding parking fines.

If a College employee accrues three unpaid citations or $100 or more in outstanding fines, the employee’s permit will be suspended until the employee has paid all fines in full.  Public Safety officers will be instructed to boot the vehicle at the next infraction, including the infraction of parking while permit is suspended.

Parking in Swarthmore Borough

Follow Swarthmore borough rules when parking off campus.  Additional information on Swarthmore Borough parking is available through the Swarthmore Borough police department.  Note that parking on all borough streets is forbidden between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.


The owner or operator of a vehicle which has been immobilized (booted) will be required to remit by cash, check, or debit to student account a fee of $100. Once the fine is paid, the "boot" will be removed by Public Safety and is subject to re-booting at any time. The vehicle must be removed from college property immediately.


If a "boot" remains on a vehicle for more than 48 hours without payment being made, that vehicle may be subject to being towed at the beginning of the next business day.

If your vehicle is towed please contact Public Safety for information on contacting the tow service provider.


NO LIABILITY is created by the granting of parking or vehicle operating privileges on property owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by Swarthmore College. The college assumes no responsibility for the care or protection of vehicles or contents while operated or parked on college property.


Any person who believes that the violation charged is not justified or is excusable due to extraordinary circumstances must file an appeal within 5 days of the issuance of the ticket. Appeals will not be accepted unless they are submitted in writing and on the proper form. A second appeal or "review" by the Transportation & Parking Adjudication Committee may follow an unsuccessfully appealed violation. The decision of that committee is final.

Illegal parking for personal convenience or for insufficient space within any given lot will not be considered a valid reason for appeal.


The borough of Swarthmore places certain restrictions on overnight parking on all borough streets. Additional information is available through the Police Department.