City of Champaign closing two downtown parking lots at night on weekends

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The State of Illinois moves into Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois Plan on Friday. That means businesses can reopen at full capacity.

The City of Champaign is reminding people patronizing the downtown area to enjoy the reopening in a safe manner. In an effort to discourage illegal activity — such as drinking alcohol in public — two city parking lots are being closed during the night and early morning hours on weekends.

A press release from the City says starting Friday, June 11., cars will not be allowed to go into the lots at Neil and Washington Streets, and at Walnut and Washington streets after 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. It says cars can still park in the lot before 9 p.m. and their drivers can leave before 2:30 a.m.

But starting at 2:30 a.m. on those nights, it says the lots will be locked off. Drivers would then have to wait until 7 a.m. to return to their cars.

The release says drivers who are in need of more flexible parking arrangements should use the Hill Street garage at 123 W. Hill Street.

The City is also reminding people about the following parking codes and ordinances pertaining to open alcohol containers:

  • While in a City-owned parking lot, people cannot engage in any activity not directly associated with the parking of or retrieval of vehicles, including but not limited to the consumption of alcohol, gambling, or the sale of merchandise or services.
  • Individuals cannot transport, carry, or possess alcoholic liquor within the driver or passenger area of any motor vehicle unless it remains sealed in its original packaging.
  • Individuals cannot carry open containers of alcoholic liquor out of any establishment licensed to sell alcohol.
  • Activities such as standing in the roadway, loitering on sidewalks, carrying open containers of alcohol, and consuming alcohol in parking lots or public roadways are violations of City Ordinances and can result in a City citation with a minimum fine of $205 per violation.

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