We’ve all been there – an open parking space that looks legit but the most confusing street signs give you pause. Are you safe, or not? You go for it, thinking you’ll just be gone a half hour and no one could possibly rush over to ticket or tow you that quickly. But, of course, you’re wrong. After walking back to your car, you spot one of those ominous orange envelopes… Ugh, there goes $50.
We all have much better things to spend money on than parking tickets, so here are 5 simple tips to help you avoid fines and #ParkEasier throughout Boston any time of year.
- Understand Parking Meter Rules. Most meters in Boston are only good for 2 hours of parking, and if you need more time, you can’t just put more money in the meter. You actually have to move your car to an entirely different block. And just because the meter is broken doesn’t mean you can park there all day… in fact, you only get 1 hour of the freebie. So, be mindful!
- Stay up to date on parking bans & winter weather. Any time the city declares a snow emergency, parking public parking becomes extremely limited and typically, parking on the streets is prohibited. It’s all for good reason (so snow plows and ambulances can get through easily) but it can mean you’re left searching for a legal spot in the snow. Luckily for you, some cities will call, text, email, or just wake you up by driving by with a loudspeaker when a snow emergency is declared or lifted. For Boston, sign up here.
- Check for street cleaning. Depending on where you live, this can happen monthly or weekly. Look out for signs to know when you have to move your car so you don’t get ticketed and towed – the dreaded double whammy!
- Brush up on your parallel parking skills. In 2013, the city wrote up 2,245 cars for being parallel parked further than 1 foot from the curb. Sounds like a silly regulation that borders on being predatory, but it’s easy enough to avoid. Don’t get written up just because of a sloppy parking job.
- Use SPOT. Simple as that. Reserve a parking space with the app, either ahead of time or right then and there, and never deal with an orange slip again!