A show of hands for anyone who thinks driving and parking in NYC is NUTS?! Yes. In my house, we rock-paper-scissors for who has to drive around the city… and then again for who has to find the parking spot. No fear – I have rounded up the parking rules, garages, and websites/apps that will make parking be a non-issue (or at least make it bearable!).
If you need a car, check out our guide to car rentals on the Upper West Side.
And if you prefer to avoid the headache which is driving in New York, check out our Upper West Side transportation guide!
According to smoothparking.com these are a good refresher of general parking rules (since it very well may have been over a decade since you took a driving test!):
- Fire Hydrants – Parking is not allowed on both sides of a Fire Hydrant within 15 Feet.
- Crosswalks – Every street corner in New York is considered to have a crosswalk even if there are no pavement markings or crossing signs. A parked car is not allowed to block a crosswalk.
- Yellow Lines on Curb – Absent any parking restriction yellow lines have no meaning.
- Sidewalks – Parking on sidewalks is not allowed.
- Curb Cuts – Parking is not allowed at curb cuts or pedestrian ramps.
- Driveways – A parked car is not allowed to block a driveway.
There’s a bunch of talk about Alternate Side Parking in NYC. This may be old news to you if you have lived in big cities with lots of one-way streets – but let’s just err on the side of caution and assume everyone is like me… and comes from a town where you can literally park anywhere, all the time, no rules needed.
Okay, so according to NYC.gov, alternate side parking is regulations, which dictate which side of the street you can park on given any day to allow for street cleaning. “Most alternate side parking signs are clearly marked with signs featuring a “P” crossed by a broom. Some areas have three-hour restrictions (e.g. 8 am to 11 am) but times vary considerably. The City suspends alternate side parking rules on the legal and religious holidays, and makes emergency suspensions because of severe weather or other emergencies. Some metered parking zones have alternate side parking rules. When alternate side parking is suspended for a holiday or other reason, the parking meters remain in effect.”
TWITTER FRIENDS: You can also follow @NYCASP on Twitter and get daily updates for when ASP is/is not in effect.
Needless to say, READ the signs – they are posted everywhere. If you don’t see one directly beside you, take a look 20-30ft ahead or behind you so you can ensure you are parked in a safe spot.
Metered parking is another option for street parking, although it is very limited. Be sure to pay attention to the parking duration and times. Most meters become free after 7P weekdays/Saturdays and are free all day on Sundays.
SNEAKY TIP: If you have a flexible work schedule, my personal favorite is to find a street you love and is convenient for you, memorize the street cleaning schedule, and be ready to pull in and park as soon as the street cleaning truck passes by.
Best time to park? Since it can take anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour to find street parking, smoothparking.com did some research and found that the best time to find quick parking on the UWS is weekdays around 11am and 12:30pm. That’s not always an ideal time for everyone, so I’ve rounded up some other garage parking options!
If you don’t want to worry about alternate side parking in NYC, you can check out garages in the area.
These are a few of the more affordable garages on the Upper West Side – if you are a non-techie, these are a few addresses to get you started:
1. ParkRight.com at 303 W 96th Street.
2. RapidParkNYC.com – this link has 9 UWS garages to choose from, from 72nd Street to Morningside Heights.
4. Icon Parking at 80 W End (the entrance to this valet garage is at 287 W 63rd Street)
5. www.imPark.com at 100 W 92nd St – the entrance to this valet garage is at 122 W 92nd.
I personally think Best Parking does a great job scouting out and pricing the cost of local garages. They have a very user friendly website and app.
Spot Hero is great for daily deals and even parking for a month at a time. You can book in advance and cancel without penalty.
If you can plan in advance, Icon Parking will often have coupons or run deals.
Quik Park does not seem to have as many garage options as the other sites I have listed above, but if you are nearby one they do offer, the deals are good and discounted pricing is what they boast!
Hopefully this helps everyone out – parking can be a bear, so if you have to drive on the UWS (because chances of finding apartments on the Upper West Side with parking are slim), these quick references and tips should make your trip just a bit smoother!
Driving further up? Check out this Washington Heights parking guide.
Sign up for the Upper West Side newsletter!