Categories: Cambridge Parking

The Ultimate Guide to Street Parking in Cambridge, MA

Cambridge offers travelers and residents alike a wide variety of activities to explore. The good news is that you can find free street parking all over the city. The bad news is a tricky game to play. But don’t worry SpotAngels is here to the rescue 🙂

This guide will grant you Cambridge street parking superhero powers:

  1. An understanding of where free street parking spots are. (Check out this street parking map!)
  2. Familiarity with parking rules in Cambridge

Street Parking Map

The map below will show you all the spots where you can park, their price and how long you can stay without getting a ticket. The map updates in real-time, so simply type in the address you’re parking near, the time you expect to be there, and your duration. The green spots are the ones that are free of charge!

Pro tip: the spots that have a yellow hallo are those where you are more likely to find parking. The information is constantly provided by the SpotAngels community.

Cambridge Parking Rules:

Parking signs

You can find below a list of Cambridge most common parking signs

Street Cleaning:

Its purpose is to enable street sweeping. You may not park during the posted hours or you risk a parking ticket and getting your car towed.

Permit required parking:

You may not park in the posted hours here unless you hold a resident permit of the city of Cambridge.

Snow Emergency – No parking:

When a Snow Emergency Parking Ban is declared, you may not park in streets with this sign.

Time limit:

This sign indicates that  you may park only for the time limit posted.

Colored Curbs and Caps

You must also pay attention to colored curbs and caps on meters.

Parking Meters w/Red Cap Domes. Parking Meters with Red Cap Domes signify meters that are not in effect due to parking restrictions as posted.
Parking Meters w/Yellow Cap Domes. Parking Meters with Yellow Cap Domes signify meters that are also used as loading zones, as posted.

Yellow curbs or caps indicate that only vehicles registered as commercial vehicles with the state of Massachusetts can park in there at any time.

Noncommercial vehicles can also stop in this zone for no more than three minutes to drop off or pick up a passenger. Those who don’t have any commercial loading business shouldn’t park in the zones during regular business hours. However, you can park there if it’s Saturday, Sunday, or a city holiday. You can also park in commercial loading zones in the evening as long as it’s after 6pm and before 6am in Beacon Hill, Back Bay and other downtown Boston real estate neighborhoods.

Where not to park

  • On a crosswalk; a sidewalk or a safety zone; Within an intersection;
  • In front of a public or private driveway, private road, private way or alley;
  • Within 10 feet of a fire hydrant; 1 ft. of a curb; 20 feet of an intersection; 20 feet of a crosswalk on the side from which traffic approaches; 30 feet upon the approach to any flashing signal, stop sign or traffic-control;
    signal located at the side of a roadway, when properly sign posted; 20 feet of the driveway entrance to any fire station; and on the side of a street opposite the entrance to any fire station, within 75 feet of said entrance.

Cambridge Parking Permits

Parking for Cambridge Residents

If you are a Cambridge resident, you may be eligible for a Resident Parking Permit which allows you to park your vehicle at any location in the City signed “Permit Parking Only.” Permits expire each year on January 31. To get a Resident Parking Permit you must provide proof that you are a Cambridge resident and your vehicle must:

  • Be registered with the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) in your name at your Cambridge address.
  • The City in which your vehicle is principally garaged according to the garage code listed with the RMV must be Cambridge.

Visitor Permits

  • Each Cambridge household is eligible to receive one Visitor Parking Permit. The Visitor Parking Permit is provided to the first person who applies for a Parking Permit (Resident or Visitor) for that household.
  • Visitor Permits:
    • may not be used by a resident.
    • allow non-residents to park in “Parking by Permit Only” areas while visiting a resident’s home. They may not be used for commuter parking or any other purpose. The permit must be returned to the resident at the end of the visit.
    • can only be used within the area designated by the map boundaries on the back of the permit, as opposed to the resident permit, which allows parking anywhere in the city.
    • may not be used on taxis, livery or oversized vehicles.
    • cannot be copied, sold, transferred, or altered in any way.

You can apply for a permit here.

Overnight parking in Cambridge

Most of Cambridge on street overnight parking is reserved for residents with parking permits, except for commercial areas where there are meters. Meters are valid until 6PM or 8PM and start again early. So you should move your car before the meter hours start.

If you have a visitor permit, you can park within the area designated by the map boundaries on the back of the permit, as opposed to the resident permit, which allows parking anywhere in the city.

Cambridge Snow Emergency Parking Ban

During substantial storms, the City may declare a Snow Emergency Parking Ban which prohibits parking on streets signed “No Parking during Snow Emergency” (view interactive map). When a snow emergency is declared, information is made available at 617-349-4700, the City’s homepage and snow center, and on 22-CityView.

Cambridge Parking Tickets:

You can find below a list of Cambridge most common parking tickets. Make sure to use the SpotAngels parking app when you park. You will receive notifications and text messages to remind you to move your car!

  • Meter, or Overtime-Time Limit Parking $30.00

  • Bicycle Lane $50.00

  • Not in Marked Space, Restricted (No Parking) , Wrong Direction Parking, No Standing Area, or Storage (over 24 hours) $25.00

  • Over 1 ft. from curb $25.00

  • Less than 10 ft. from lane $30.00
  • Driveway, Alley Obstruction $25.00

  • Within 20 ft. of Intersection $25.00

  • Loading Zone $50.00

  • Bus Stop; Hydrant within 10 ft.; or Fire Lane $100.00

  • Safety Zone/Island $30.00

  • Crosswalk or Sidewalk; $40.00

  • Resident Permit Only $30.00

  • Street Cleaning $30.00

  • Snow Emergency $40.00

Cambridge Parking Holidays:

Cambridge Metered Parking is free during Holidays! Here they are:

Parking HolidayDate
New Year’s DayJan 01, 2021
Martin Luther King, Jr. DayJan 18, 2021
Presidents’ DayFeb 15, 2021
Patriots’ DayApr 19, 2021
Memorial DayMay 31, 2021
Independence DayJul 04, 2021
Labor DaySep 06, 2021
Indigenous Peoples’ DayOct 11, 2021
Veterans DayNov 11, 2021
Thanksgiving DayNov 25, 2021
Day After Thanksgiving DayNov 26, 2021
Christmas DayDec 25, 2021

To know which specific regulations are suspended on these days and find parking on the go, download the SpotAngels app. It is free, the data is constantly updated by the community and it was featured as the best parking app by Apple and Google!

View Map of Free Parking in Cambridge

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