New York City is the most ticketed city in the US when it comes to the total revenue generated from parking tickets. When parking on the street, make sure you know all about NYC street parking so that your time and money are well spent, rather than spent doing damage control. Though at first NYC street parking seems confusing (alternate side parking? What?), it’s actually not so bad. Follow these simple parking rules and you’re sure to have a great time in New York City.

General NYC Street Parking Rules

For starters, the entire city is a designated tow-away zone. That means that if you are found in violation of any parking rules, you could be towed. NYC is so serious about towing that the NYPD even has its own fleet of tow trucks. This city doesn’t play around.  NYC street parking is completely unique. If you’re visiting, many of the signs may look different. If you’re a resident, parking rules can still take you by surprise if you’re not careful. To avoid hefty fines and tickets it’s absolutely crucial to familiarize yourself with the signs and protocols they correspond to.

NYC street parking general rules
Photo credit: Carmax

Here’s how to avoid being towed right off the bat:

  1. Make sure your vehicle registration and inspection stickers are up to date, if applicable.
  2. Never, ever double park your vehicle. If there’s already a car parked beside the curb, do not park beside it. Ever.
  3. Do not park within 15 feet of either side of a fire hydrant. Don’t rely on those nifty painted curbs, either. They lie.
  4. Be diligent. When you park, be sure you find every sign that’s near you. Signs change when construction occurs. There may be temporary signs posted with different parking regulations than you’re used to for that particular street.
  5. Pay attention to alternate side parking rules in order to avoid tickets and towing related to street cleanup.
  6. If there is an arrow on the signs you see, those indicate in which direction the regulation applies.
  7. On major holidays, you’re able to park in many more areas and don’t need to pay the meter. On other (religious) holidays, alternate side parking is also suspended. See further below for the details on suspensions.
NYC street parking app

What is alternate side parking?

Alternate side parking is an NYC traffic law that dictates which side of the street cars can be parked on any given day. It exists to allow an efficient flow of traffic, even on days when street cleaning occurs. The dates vary and rules are only suspended on major holidays. To learn more, check out our detailed guide on NYC alternate side parking. 

What do all of these parking signs in NYC even mean?

Here are all of the signs you’ll see while trying to find parking in NYC.

  • Street cleaning sign
NYC street parking: Street Cleaning Sign

This sign indicates when alternate side parking regularly occurs for that particular block. The sign indicates when vehicles are not allowed to park. The broom on the sign identifies the sign as a location subject to street cleaning regulations.

These regulations are also suspended on several religious holidays.

Update: Beginning Monday, June 29, 2020, residential streets that have multiple ASP days will be cleaned only once per week – the latest day in the week. If a parking sign indicates street cleaning on Monday and Thursday, street cleaning will only happen on Thursday.

  • No parking anytime sign
NYC street parking: No Parking Anytime sign

If you see this sign, you may not park at this location at any time. You may stop to load and unload packages at curbside and you may drop off and pick up passengers but leave your car at your own risk.

  • No parking sign with hours specified
NYC street parking: No Parking with Hours sign

This particular sign indicates an interval within which vehicles are not allowed to park at certain times on certain days.

  • No standing anytime sign
NYC street parking: No Standing Anytime sign

This doesn’t mean you physically can’t stand in this area, but it does mean your car can’t. In this area, you may not wait or stop for any reason, not even to load or unload packages. You may load and unload passengers if it’s in a hurry, but no idling.

  • No standing sign with hours specified
NYC street parking: No Standing with Hours sign

This particular sign indicates an interval within which vehicles are not allowed to stand at certain times on certain days.

  • No stopping sign
NYC street parking: No Stopping Anytime sign

If you see this sign, keep driving. You may not stop at this location for any reason. Doesn’t matter if you need to tie your shoe, stretch your legs, take a bite of your lunch: do not do it here. No picking up or dropping off passengers or packages at any time.

  • No stopping sign with hours specified
NYC street parking: No Stopping with Hours sign

This particular sign indicates an interval within which vehicles are not allowed to stop at certain times on certain days.

  • Parking Meter sign
NYC street parking: parking meter sign

If you see this sign, you may park here but must pay for parking (depending on the times and days listed on the posted sign). Pay at the kiosk and place the receipt in a visible location on your dashboard. You may also pay using the mobile app of the city (“ParkNYC”) by punching in the Zone # visible on the bottom of the sign.

On major legal holidays, NYC parking meters are suspended and you’re able to park here as long as you need to.

  • Bus stop sign
NYC street parking: Bus Stop sign

If you see this, you’re in a reserved parking area for busses. The sign will indicate which buses stop there, their destination, and the bus stop address. No standing regulations apply, so do not wait or stop to load/unload packages. If you’re quick, you can expeditiously drop off or pick up passengers.

  • Taxi stand sign
NYC street parking: Taxi Stand sign

Only taxis are allowed to wait in these areas. No standing regulations apply. This means you may not wait to stop and unload packages, but you can quickly load or unload people. Just don’t get in the way of taxis as they pull up.

  • No standing except for commercial vehicles sign
NYC street parking: Commercial Vehcles sign

Unless you’re in a commercial vehicle, you may not stand here. No picking up or dropping off packages or waiting for any reason. You may drop off and pick up passengers if you do it in a hurry.

Where to find Free Parking or Cheap Parking?

Many neighborhood streets offer free and cheap parking if you know where to look, but prices vary block by block. Visit our comprehensive NYC street parking map to see which streets offer free parking and which streets offer metered parking. You’ll also find the cheapest parking garage and parking lot options. Every price is labeled, so you’ll exactly know what to expect.

NYC free parking

To find overnight parking in NYC, here is an overnight parking map you can use.

How do I get notified if I got a ticket

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Is Parking Suspended Today?

NYC parking rules are suspended during holidays but you need to be careful since suspensions vary by parking rule.

Alternate Side Parking
Alternate Side Parking NYC is suspended on major legal holidays and on the religious holidays listed here.

No Parking, No Standing, No Stopping
On major holidays, you’re able to stop, stand, and park your car anywhere, unless you’re on a street where those rules are in effect seven days a week (for example, “No Standing Anytime”).

Parking Meters
NYC parking meter regulations are also suspended on major legal holidays.

Parking Holidays

Parking is free on Sunday and during most Holidays!
Additionally, Alternate Side Parking is suspended during all the Holidays. Here they are for 2024:

Start DateParking HolidayEnd Date
2024-01-01New Year's Day2024-01-01
2024-01-06Three King's Day2024-01-06
2024-01-15Martin Luther King, Jr. Day2024-01-15
2024-02-09Lunar New Year’s Eve2024-02-09
2024-02-10Lunar New Year2024-02-10
2024-02-12Lincoln's Birthday2024-02-12
2024-02-13Winter storm operations2024-02-13
2024-02-14Ash Wednesday2024-02-14
2024-02-17Weather Operations2024-02-17
2024-02-19Washington's Birthday (Presidents' Day)2024-02-19
2024-03-28Holy Thursday2024-03-28
2024-03-29Good Friday2024-03-29
2024-04-10Eid al-Fitr (Idul-Fitr)2024-04-11
2024-04-29Passover (7th/8th Days)2024-04-30
2024-05-02Holy Thursday (Orthodox)2024-05-02
2024-05-03Good Friday (Orthodox)2024-05-03
2024-05-09Solemnity of the Ascension2024-05-09
2024-05-27Memorial Day2024-05-27
2024-06-17Eid al-Adha (Idul-Adha)2024-06-18
2024-07-04Independence Day2024-07-04
2024-08-13Tisha B'Av2024-08-13
2024-08-15Feast of the Assumption2024-08-15
2024-09-02Labor Day2024-09-02
2024-10-03Rosh Hashanah2024-10-04
2024-10-12Yom Kippur2024-10-11
2024-10-14Italian Heritage Day/Indigenous Peoples' Day2024-10-14
2024-10-24Shemini Atzereth2024-10-24
2024-10-25Simchas Torah2024-10-25
2024-11-01All Saints Day2024-11-01
2024-11-05Election Day2024-11-05
2024-11-11Veterans day2024-11-11
2024-11-28Thanksgiving Day2024-11-28
2024-12-09Immaculate Conception2024-12-09
2024-12-25Christmas Day2024-12-25

To know which specific regulations are suspended on these days and find parking on the go, download the award-winning SpotAngels app. It is free 😉

SpotAngels App Screenshot

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