Parking in NYC: What You Should Know

When it comes to parking in NYC, arming yourself with plenty of prep and knowledge is half the battle won. Knowing when you can park and where you can park before you head into the city can save you a lot of stress and a lot of money.

Parking in NYC is a non-issue for New Yorkers, right? Tell that to the eleventy million parents who double park outside of their kids’ schools during drop-off every morning, or to those circling blocks for 45 minutes looking for parking near their apartment. In addition to the people who own cars, there are tons of people who use car-sharing services like Zipcar in order to do things like run errands on weekends or tote home huge shopping hauls.

parking tickets nyc

Image Source: Flickr/Meg Stewart

The following tips for parking in NYC can help ensure that NYC car owners don’t get strapped with costly tickets due to “not knowing that they weren’t allowed to park there” or “I thought alternate-side-of-the-street parking was suspended because of the snow.”

Do You Really Have to Drive?

Do you really need to take the car into the city, or are you just bringing it with you because you think it will be convenient? Using a car in the city can be just as annoying as it is convenient, so you need to figure out which way the pendulum tips. If you’ve got a ton of different items to pick up from different stores on opposite ends of the city, using a car may be worth it. If you’re taking the car because you don’t want to lug bags onto the subway, it may make more sense to take a taxi.

Don’t Leave Home Without NYC Parking Apps

There are apps and websites available that can help you figure out everything from whether or not street parking is available on a particular day to finding out if alternate-side-of-the-street parking has been suspended.

  • nycbestparking.com: This drivers’ app is pretty awesome. Need to know if you can park on 48th street between 9th and 10th at 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday? This app will tell you. Want to make sure that you get into that garage on 47th Street near Rockefeller Center? Just click!
  • parkme.com: With this app, you type in the address where you’ll need parking. Once you do, the names and fees for nearby parking lots will pop up. You can then make your reservation. The system also offers up customer reviews.
  • streetparknyc: This app is sort of like Airbnb for parking spaces. You register on the site, find a parking space, and run around and do your shopping or whatever. When you leave your parking space, let Streetparknyc.com know. Streetparknyc.com will enter credits into your account that will ultimately be mailed to you as cash at the end of the month (if you’ve accrued enough credits). They then alert another (registered) driver looking for a parking spot in the area that there’s space available.

All Hail Muni Meters!

muni meter in nyc

Image Source: Flickr/Lucius Kwok

In 2009, NYC launched the Muni Meter parking meter system in the city. This “pay and display” system allows more people to park on city streets because instead of a single meter marking out a single parking space, drivers go to the Muni Meter, pay for their time, print out a receipt, and place the receipts on their dashboards so that they’re visible.

There are usually several Muni Meters within walking distance of each other, so if you find yourself parked next to a broken Muni Meter, walk down the street until you find a meter that’s working. Pay and print out your receipt from that working meter and place it in your window. The best thing is that if you still have time on your receipt, you can use it anywhere else (in the borough) until it runs out.

Main Image Source: Flickr/Mrs. Gemstone

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