While it may be the butt of many jokes, the parking scene in New York City is no laughing matter. If you want free street parking, you have to really be talented and good at multitasking. After riding around for more than an hour you see a spot open up. You hit the gas hard to get there before anyone else can and then you look for any city signs or fire hydrant to be sure it’s safe. Just as you start to maneuver to get into the cramped space, traffic starts backing up in your lane and a taxi driver begins laying on his horn. You try so desperately to finagle your way into that spot, but it seems you need to pull all the way out to straighten up and go back in. Now even more cars are honking and several people are screaming out of their windows at you. Anxiety piquing, you give up and let go of the spot, as you leave in a frustratingly frazzled state. Is this really what you want to deal with every day? This is the curse of owning a car while living in New York City.
Even if you get the hang of street parking, there’s still much to take into consideration. The following tips will help ease those NYC parking blues. Whether you choose parking on the street or go with a garage, you will find some useful tips to make your parking experience flow much more smoothly. Aside from parking tips, we also offer a list of garages that provide daily and monthly parking options. Since each facility is run by different management with its own rules, it’s imperative that you check with each one to be sure it’s right for you.
Some areas offer metered parking. It is important to pay attention to all signs at the meters, since the duration of time you can park there, as well as the fees, can vary greatly. Among the five boroughs, rates range from $1 to $12 and the duration from 1 hour to 12 hours. If the meter where you park is broken, make sure you pay at another meter to avoid getting a ticket. It’s also important to refill the meter or move before your time is up and always allow yourself plenty enough time to get back to the meter (with a little extra cushion, just in case), because those meter maids are just waiting for you to mess up. If you are 30 seconds late, you better believe you already have a ticket. Parking tickets are one of New York City’s biggest revenue generators.
New York City does not reserve any special spaces for those with disabilities, although you can find some in many of the public parking lots, such as the grocery store, shopping malls, office and apartment buildings, as well as college campuses. In order to park in those spaces, you are required to display your New York State disability permit or plates. New York does not honor disability plates or permits from any other states. Check out the DMV brochure to learn more about disability parking in NYC.
Alternate Side Parking
In order to keep the city pretty, most New York City streets have alternate side parking regulations in effect. Twice a week on each road street cleaners come in to clean the streets and the cars must be moved out of the way. If your car is on the side of the street that is due to be cleaned, you can count on getting a ticket. Alternate side parking is never in effect on Wednesdays or on weekends, as well it is suspended on New York City holidays. The 2013 Alternate Side Parking calendar is available for download and lists the dates alternate side parking is suspended.
There are certain basic rules of the streets in New York for parking. You can view New York City parking regulations here. Always pay attention to all signs and if there are contradicting signs, heed the one with the most restrictions. Do not park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant or else you will end up towed and those towing fees are pretty steep. Have common sense, do not park in a crosswalk, where there are yellow lines on the curb, or on sidewalks. Never ever open your trunk after parking and never leave anything of value visible in your car.
Many seasoned New Yorkers realize their time and peace of mind is much more valuable than getting free parking, so they play it smart and find a good parking garage. At least with a garage you know you always have a space and you save a lot of time not having to hunt for it…not to mention all of the money you save by avoiding parking tickets. The following is a list of parking garages in New York City that offer monthly parking options, in addition to daily parking.
Parking Companies in NYC
Icon Parking Systems
Imperial Parking Systems
Alliance Parking Services
Garage Management Company
Parking at Pier 40
Manhattan Parking Group
Little Man Parking
Other Parking Resources:
PrimoSpot.com – gives info on street parking, where and where not to park
Parkit Labs – provides an app to help locate parking
Craigslist – search ads for parking, some are private spaces, others are in garages