New and Returning Student Information
Welcome to Urbana! We want you to enjoy our very livable city!
This site will provide you with basic information about City services, plus some simple rules to ensure that all residents are treated with respect and consideration. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the following information to help you get the most out of living in Urbana.
Living Off Campus
Electricity and Natural Gas
Ameren-Illinois Power: 800-755-5000
Refuse Collection and Recycling Service
Maintaining an attractive neighborhood means making sure that trash and litter around your home is picked up, secured in a proper container, and left out for pick-up by your garbage collector. Containers must be removed from the street by no later than 10 a.m. on the day following your collection. The City of Urbana provides collection of recyclable materials, including these items. Please place your recyclables out on your designated pickup day found here. Fall and spring leaf collection is available on designated days.
- City of Urbana Licensed Garbage Haulers
- Landscape Recycling Center: 217-344-5323
- U-Cycle (City of Urbana curbside & multifamily recycling programs): 217-384-2302
Urbana & Champaign Sanitary District: 217/367-3409
Illinois-American Water: 217/352-1420
With a size of just under 12 square miles and flat topography, getting around in Urbana is very easy. Urbana is accessible by car, air, train or bus. Once here, there are a variety of transportation options, whether they are by foot, bike, Zipcar or public transportation.
The new dockless bikeshare program in Urbana called VeoRide completely alleviates all of that, and has been successful all across the United States. First, on a smartphone, download the VeoRide app. Next, find a bike, which is easy. Either spot a bike and start the process or locate one of these GPS-equipped bikes with the app. Next, unlock the bike’s self-contained wheel lock by scanning a QR code with your smartphone. The ride will cost 50 cents for every 15 minutes. Once at the destination, park the bike in any bike rack, push down the button on the lock to end the trip and secure the bike. Then, the app shows how far the bike went, how much it cost to ride, and other information, like how many calories were burned on the journey. Now, what if there are no bike racks available to park the bike, or they are all full? Well, check the app for designated parking areas. Parking is also allowed on sidewalks, leaving enough space so people can still get by. Also, do not block doors or handicap ramps. Plus, the bike may be parked anywhere a car can park for free. Places to absolutely avoid parking are: in the way of or near traffic, in a crosswalk, sidewalk, near a fire hydrant, outdoor furniture other than secure sidewalk benches, driveways and private property.
Parking in Urbana
Parking permits are required in some neighborhoods bordering the University due to high demand. Residents may purchase parking stickers and guest passes at the Finance Department, City Hall, 400 South Vine Street. Be sure to park no closer than five feet from either side of a driveway. Parking on grass or dirt is prohibited, so please don’t park in your yard.
A variety of Housing alternatives exist in Urbana. As you consider your options, please keep in mind the following:
Rental Registration and Occupancy
Urbana requires registration and code inspection of all residential rental properties. No more than four unrelated persons may occupy a dwelling unit. If you are renting a unit with more than three other unrelated roommates, you may need to move. Free confidential assistance is available for students from the University Tenant Union at 217/333-0112 and for non-students at the C-U Tenant Union at 217/352-6220.
Urbana residential neighborhoods are quiet. By ordinance, noise may not be heard beyond the property limits of your home. This means that large parties with loud music will likely result in a visit from police and a warning or citation. Please be considerate of your neighbors. If you are bothered by unreasonable noise, please call 217/384-2320.
No Indoor Furniture on Porches
After a 2010 house fire caused the death of a young woman, Urbana joined Champaign and other cities in banning the use of indoor upholstered furniture on porches. Porch fires from smoldering cigarettes on such furniture quickly get out of control before indoor smoke alarms can warn residents.
Urbana offers a variety of multi-family and other rental housing. Many neighborhoods such as stately, tree-lined West Urbana, provide rental housing amid single-family homes. A neighborly mindset helps protect the quality of life for everyone.
- Safety or maintenance concerns about the apartment or house you are renting, call 217/384-2436, or seek help from the Tenant Union (students: 217-333-0112; others: 217-352-6220).
- Improperly parked or abandoned vehicles: 217/328-8253
- Animal control issues: 217/328-2320.
- Trash, debris, or overgrown yards: 217/384-2416.
The drinking age in Urbana is 21. Laws against underage drinking, whether at a bar, restaurant, or party are strictly enforces. Selling alcohol in residential neighborhoods is illegal. Urbana prohibits selling cups or charging a cover at a party where alcohol is served. Carrying open containers of alcohol in public is illegal.
Most of Urbana’s neighborhoods are served by an active neighborhood group. Among these is the West Urbana Neighborhood Association, or “WUNA”. Others include the Southeast Urbana Neighborhood Association (SUNA), the Historic East Urbana Neighborhood Association (HEUNA), and United Citizens and Neighbors (UCAN) in North Urbana. Please call the City’s Community Development Services Department at 217/384-2444 for contact information.
About Your New Home
Urbana is a smart, innovative, and globally connected micro-urban community. Among the many attractive attributes Urbana boasts are an internationally diverse population, a strong technology base, and a vibrant arts, culture, and entertainment scene.
- Learn more about Urbana
- Find out about the many community resources available to you
- Check out all the places your family and guests can stay while visiting the area
Please visit our website for a calendar of events, City documents, and information on City programs, departments, and governing bodies. Agendas and items being considered by the City Council at their regular Monday evening meetings also are posted. You can watch public meetings and other community programs on our public access television station, UPTV, on Channel 6.
Your Safety Is Important!
Many of your neighbors walk or ride their bikes to work and school, including school-age children. Please drive carefully by observing speed limits and stop signs. State law requires drivers to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks.
Register Your Bicycle
Consider registering your bicycle with the City of Urbana. Click here to access the form which you can complete and return to the City’s Finance Department. For the safety and comfort of pedestrians, City ordinance requires bikes to be walked on sidewalks in downtown Urbana. Click here to access City of Urbana bicycle maps and learn more about bicycle safety tips.
Take A Bite Out Of Crime
Although the City of Urbana is a wonderful place to live, work, learn and do business, you should still exercise good common sense to protect yourself and your property. Don’t be a victim of crime. The Urbana Police Department offers a number of services to help enhance your quality of life. Consider joining a Neighborhood Watch Program. If you’re leaving town for vacation or break, request Vacation Watch Service while you are away. Also be sure that your valuable property is engraved or marked for identification.
- The Urbana Police Department is accessible for more information by calling their non-emergency number, 217-384-2320. Dial 9-1-1 for all emergency police, fire, and emergency medical calls.
- The University of Illinois Public Safety Department works closely with the Urbana Police Department. If you are living on campus, call the U of I Police non-emergency number, 217/333-1216, for assistance or information. Dial 9-1-1 for all emergency police, fire, and emergency medical calls.
Fire Prevention and Emergencies
Urbana Fire Rescue helps you in emergencies and through effective prevention programs. This department, one of the highest-rated in Illinois, has trained all of its firefighters as Emergency Medical Technicians. They have an excellent history in fire prevention and are recognized leaders in education efforts with children. Dial 9-1-1 for all emergency police, fire, and emergency medical calls. For information, or to schedule a free home fire life safety visit, please call 217-384-2420.