I’m here to share a dirty little secret… how to get around parking downtown without getting a ticket. As I tell folks, think smarter, not harder.
But there are a few rules you must play by. So take note folks.
- If you’re going to park in the meters, read the instructions. If you park during monitored hours, put a quarter in. (Don’t use nickles though, because they don’t buy you any time.) Chances are, the parking enforcement will catch you if you cheat it. Tickets are $25.
- If you just need to run in real quick, park in a loading zone and put your flashers on. But be honest and legit about it… don’t spend more than three to five minutes away from your car. If you’re near an alley downtown, park in the alley with your flashers on. If you block someone, they have to call the cops. In situations like this, the cops take about 15-30 minutes to get there. You’ll be back to move before the popo arrive.
- Find someone who lives downtown to hook it up with a temporary parking pass. It’s a $2 investment and the downtown resident can purchase 10 a month. They never expire. It will allow you to park all day without a worry of a ticket. They can also buy extended passes for any length of time and it doesn’t count against their allotment.
- Find a handicap pass. Turns out, if you have a handicap decal, you can park all day, any day, in any of the residential zones. Some shop owners have mastered this and take full advantage of it. (Another post on this soon!)
- Or find the red head girl who drives the british racing mini cooper and parks it in Zone 1. Then ask her how she was able to score a residential permit. She doesn’t live downtown… I know because her car only appears Mon-Fri and usually arrives a little before 9am. And welp, she used to play marco polo with the parking enforcement a year or two ago.
- Park in Eastport and call the e-Cruiser (although service hasn’t been so trusty lately.)
- Or park further out and take the new free circulator. Don’t bother parking in a garage… residential zones 3,4 & 5 are very, very, very rarely monitored, if ever. This thing runs all day, at all hours. Usually it’s totally empty, so take advantage of all the money the City is dumping into the program.
One piece of advice, be nice to the parking enforcement officers. The City doesn’t pay them a bunch of money … and they’re just doing their job. The City makes them come in during hurricanes… seriously! It’s not their fault. (Now, could, and should, they at the least clear off more of this guy’s window if they’re going to issue a ticket, yes, buuutttt…. we can all be lazy at times, right?)
And remember, when you do find a bomb-diggity parking spot, thank the Parking Fairy. Trust me, the more you thank her, the more she’ll look out for you!