Parking in Manhattan

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 - 11:00 pm
By Colin

Parking in Manhattan:  Good Luck!

Parking in Manhattan: Good Luck!

If you own a car in Manhattan, or are bringing a car into Manhattan, you might find this useful:

You cannot live and work in Manhattan, and park on the street.  The parking rules and regulations make it impossible.  You’d spend all your free time looking for a  spot for the following day.  You need to keep the car in a garage.

If you are driving into Manhattan for a weekend, an event, or anything for which you want peace of mind and don’t want to be thinking about the fate of your car, you need to keep it in a garage during your visit.  My father drove into the Financial District one weekend for a few hours in the mid-nineties, to visit the WTC towers, and  promptly got his car window smashed and car phone stolen while he was up in the towers.

Much more recently, my cousin drove into the city for a three day visit from Boston, and parked her car on Riverside Drive.  It was mistakenly towed away by the DoT.  One of their tow truck operators thought she was in a bus stop.  She spent the better part of her visit with the police and the DoT.  She eventually found her car in the impound lot, and spent months fighting the towing fees and ticket by mail from Boston.  She did eventually win, and got all her money back.  But she sure as hell didn’t get her vacation back.

If you’ve come back to your street parking spot and find yourself asking “Where’s my car?”, like my cousin did, you can check if your car was towed by the DoT. You just enter your license plate and state. The results will also tell you which impound lot the DoT took it to. It generally takes an hour from the time of towing for this information to be loaded into the DOT database.

So, um, no, my family doesn’t visit by car much anymore, and yes, I recommend a garage.  Now, you say, that’s going to be expensive.  Yes, if you go around midtown looking at parking rates, you’ll see monthly rates around $400 ~ $500, plus $100 more for an SUV or luxury car.  And the rates only go up on the East Side, in the West Village, or on the Upper West Side.

I have a pickup truck.  I thought I was going to have to garage it in Brooklyn or upper Manhattan and only see it twice a year.  I can’t afford $500/month to park.  But then I came across this site:  The prices here are much, much lower.  Like $160/month for the first year, $200/month thereafter.  Much more affordable.  I ended up parking in an Icon lot in midtown, 2 blocks from work, for $200/month — for a 4×4 pickup.  That’s a good deal.  If you know of a better one, tell me about it.

The thing to do on this site, is to not just take the listed prices at their word.  Fill in one of the forms, telling them how much you’re willing to pay.  Someone will call you with an offer.  It’ll be better than anything you saw driving around.

Of course, I only have experience with monthly parking deals.  A colleague who lives in New Jersey tells me he uses the site when driving in for Rangers games.  He uses it to make a reservation for a spot in advance.  That way he doesn’t get hosed when driving up to a lot.

They also have a mobile web site: which lets you check prices while your on your way.

And there you have it, folks.  The little nitty gritty about parking in Manhattan.

One Response to “Parking in Manhattan”

  1. henry

    you are obviously not from new york


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