If you’ve ever walked through Central Campus to get to a Michigan football game, then you’ve seen campus at its absolute fullest.

Every parking spot in every official parking lot within miles of the stadium is taken, and the overflow of cars has spilled onto front lawns decorated with signs that advertise parking for anywhere from $5 to $25.

For those who need to park, the location of the spot often justifies the price, and for the owners of the lawns-turned-parking-lots, it’s a quick way to make money.

But on any other day of the week, that same parking could cost you $35, the cost of a ticket for parking on someone’s lawn.

So why is it that people aren’t ticketed on football Saturdays?

The answer can be found in the Ann Arbor City Code. According to the code, aside from driveways and designated parking areas, no vehicle can be parked in the open space in front of a building, called a front setback.

But the code explains, “This subsection shall not be applicable on those days when football games are played in The University of Michigan stadium.”

Parking referee John Getz said the front setback line is usually determined by the principal portion of a given building – usually the foundation of a house, or an enclosed porch.

The city code also states that a person who has obtained a permit is allowed to offer front setback parking during the Art Fair.

According to the code, such permits are issued “in accordance with regulations adopted by the city council for the purpose of ensuring public safety and preserving the attractive appearance of the city.”

Getz said the code does not apply on football Saturdays because “the city recognizes the need for additional parking.”

But, he said, parking on any portion of the sidewalk, or between the sidewalk and the curb, is a violation regardless of whether or not you’re watching the Michigan football team battle it out in the stadium.

Amina Farha

Have a campus mystery you want the Daily to solve? E-mail news editor Chris Herring at hchris@umich.edu.

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