You did it! You found the coolest apartment in town, and you couldn't be happier. There's just one thing—the property manager doesn't provide parking spaces or lot parking for residents. When it comes to street parking, no two neighborhoods are built alike, but there are some surefire tips you can keep in mind to get the best experience.
Here are four things to keep in mind when approaching a street-parking routine.
Length of Time
Sometimes there are rules based on the length of time your vehicle is parked in a given spot on the street. Not all cities are the same, but most have ordinances surrounding how long a car can be parked in place—depending on which street this might be 24 hours, 48 hours, more or fewer. Check your local laws to determine whether parking a car for longer than 24 hours might incur a ticket. While this isn't always meticulously policed, neighboring property owners are within their rights to call you in if you violate a time-based parking law.
Pro tip: Keep an eye out for "emergency snow route" signage indicating a street that abides by different parking rules when two inches or more of snow has fallen. While most residential streets will follow a street-clearing schedule based on east-west or north-south direction and time passed since a snow alert has been declared by the city, certain roads are deemed "emergency routes" based on need to get to critical areas, such as hospitals or schools.
Time of Day
From one neighborhood to the next, it's important to know when parking is limited based on time of day. Most of these rules will be posted clearly (i.e., "two-hour parking only" signs), but sometimes things such as overnight parking aren't expressly displayed. Check with your local representation or parking agency to determine whether street parking overnight or during the day is allowed in your area. It could help you avoid a costly parking ticket down the road.
This probably goes without saying, but one key thing to keep in mind when street parking versus lot parking is that your vehicle is more susceptible to drive-by traffic and foot traffic. When selecting the ideal spot, try to find a street off the beaten path to minimize the potential for damage to your vehicle from oncoming traffic, and consider placing any valuable items in concealed areas such as the glove box or trunk to minimize the temptation to break in. These little steps can go a long way in keeping your mode of transportation in good shape!
One useful feature of lot parking is that designated parking areas are generally outfitted with ample lighting and visibility. Not all streets are lit equally. When moving into a new apartment, consider locating a street-parking option with proximity to street lamps so that your walk to and from your vehicle is well-lit. This gives you a feeling of safety and security when coming and going from your vehicle during evening hours, and it can make your car less susceptible to theft attempts.