Parking Strategies for Boston's Winter Wonderland:
Where to Park During a Snow Emergency


Car in the snow on the street


Boston's charm comes with a snowy side, and navigating parking during a snow emergency can be tricky. But fear not, fellow winter warriors! When snow emergencies are declared, knowing where to safely park your vehicle becomes crucial to avoid fines, towing, and the frustration of being stranded. Here's your guide to navigating parking during a snow emergency in Boston.


Understanding Snow Emergencies

Snow emergencies are declared by city officials when significant snowfall is expected, typically exceeding a certain threshold. During these emergencies, parking restrictions are enforced to facilitate snow removal and ensure the safety of residents. It's essential to stay updated on weather forecasts and city announcements to be prepared for any declared snow emergencies. Common parking regulations include:

  • Parking Bans: On-street parking bans are typically implemented during snow emergencies to allow for efficient plowing and snow removal. Violating these bans can result in fines and towing of vehicles.
  • Alternate Side Parking: In some areas, alternate side parking regulations may be enforced to facilitate snow removal on both sides of the street. Residents must adhere to the designated parking sides to avoid penalties.
  • Clearing Snow Around Vehicles: Residents are also responsible for clearing snow from around their parked vehicles to allow for safe passage of pedestrians and snow removal equipment. If the city has declared a snow emergency your're allowed to use a space savers to save your parking space after showeling for 48 hours after the snow emergency ends! A space saver can be anything from a cone to an old chair or a trash can.


Know Your Snow Emergency Zones

First things first, understand the different snow emergency zones. Boston categorizes streets into arteries (high-priority plowing) and residential areas. Parking bans are stricter on arteries, so be extra vigilant. Here is a list of restricted streets in Boston -


Parking Options During Snow Emergencies

Off-Street Parking Lots: Boston provides several municipal parking lots where residents can park their vehicles during snow emergencies for free or for a discounted fee. These lots offer a safe alternative to on-street parking and help prevent vehicles from obstructing snow removal operations. Keep in mind that some lots may have limited capacity and operate on a first-come, first-served basis.

The list gets updated regularly, so bookmark it: Remember, discounted parking starts 2 hours before the emergency and ends 2 hours after it's lifted.


Private Garages

If all else fails, consider private garages. While pricier, they offer guaranteed safety and convenience. Remember to book in advance during heavy snowfall, as they tend to fill up fast.


Staying Informed and Prepared

To effectively navigate parking during snow emergencies in Boston, it's crucial to stay informed and prepared. Here are some tips to help you stay ahead:

  • Sign Up for Alerts: Register for snow emergency alerts through the City of Boston's official channels to receive notifications and updates directly to your phone or email.
  • Check Parking Regulations: Familiarize yourself with parking regulations specific to your neighborhood, including designated snow emergency parking areas and alternate side parking rules.
  • Plan Ahead: When a snow emergency is forecasted, plan ahead by securing off-street parking or making alternative transportation arrangements to avoid parking violations and disruptions.
  • Stay Informed: Monitor weather forecasts and city announcements to stay informed about any declared snow emergencies and parking restrictions.
  • Park at least 20 feet from intersections and 1 foot from the curb to avoid obstructing snow removal.
  • Never park near fire hydrants, ramps, or driveways.
  • Heed posted signage: Pay attention to snow emergency signs and restrictions on specific streets.


For real-time updates on parking availability and snow emergency declarations, follow the City of Boston's Twitter account: @cityofboston:

Remember, staying safe and informed is key during Boston's snowy season. By following these guidelines and staying informed, you can navigate parking during snow emergencies in Boston with confidence and minimize the risk of fines and towing. Remember to prioritize safety and cooperation with city officials to ensure efficient snow removal and maintain the accessibility of roadways for all residents.