Where you can leave your car if there is a parking ban
- Where to park (for free) in Pawtucket during a parking ban
- Where to park (for free) in East Providence during a parking ban
- Where to park (for free) in Bristol during a parking ban
Unless you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with off-street parking, a weather forecast that calls for several inches of snow means you should probably start thinking about where you’re going to park your car.
Providence prohibits all street parking during snowstorms, as do many other Rhode Island communities. If you’re new to the state, or it’s your first winter in a building that doesn’t have its own designated parking area, it can be hard to figure out what you’re supposed to do with your car.
Some cities listed below, such as East Providence and Pawtucket, publish lists of municipal and church parking lots where you can leave your car during a storm. In Providence, however, you will have to pay to leave your car in a garage or parking lot unless you are able to find a free alternative on your own.
There’s some interest in redesigning this system, but in the meantime, here’s what you need to know.
What alternatives to on-street parking are available during a snowstorm parking ban in Providence?
The city’s website has an interactive map of where you can park during a snowstorm. However, it’s somewhat limited: all options are either downtown or on the East Side, and all charge parking.
Last year, a handful of Reddit users created a crowdsourced spreadsheet that lists prices for many recommended parking lots (most charge $20 or $25), plus a few additional paid parking options.
Following:Time to rethink snow parking bans? The Providence district is testing a different approach
If you live on the West Side, you’re in luck. The Armory District is testing a pilot program that lets you leave your car on the even side of certain streets during a snowstorm. Just be sure to move it to the opposite side within eight hours of the parking ban being lifted. Find a map of eligible streets here.
Other options for parking in Providence during a snowstorm:
The Rhode Island Convention Center website currently states that the South Garage “will be closed until further notice,” but that is no longer accurate and will be updated, according to spokeswoman Veronica Van Jura. The two parking garages serving the Convention Center and the Dunkin’ Donuts Center are open during snowstorms, but regular rates ($20 for overnight parking) will apply.
The Providence Place Mall is another popular place to leave cars. Rates are set at $20 for 8 to 8 hours and $25 for 8 to 25 hours, according to the mall’s website.
Although not in Providence (as the Mayor of Warwick will be happy to remind you), TF Green International Airport can be a convenient place to leave your car during parking restrictions. Rates range from $17 to $32 per day, depending on whether or not you want to leave your car in a covered garage. The MBTA commuter train and several RIPTA bus lines will take you back to Providence.
In addition to parking.com and Parkopedia, which provide the information for the Providence city map, you can also find parking spaces for rent through SpotHero.
Can you park at schools, city parks or at the hospital during a parking ban?
You may have heard rumors that you won’t be towed if you park in the garage at Providence Public Safety Complex, at a school, or in other city-owned parking lots like India Point Park.
It’s not recommended, however.
“Parking in the Public Safety Garage is limited to Public Safety vehicles or visitors doing business in the Public Safety Complex during business hours,” city spokeswoman Theresa Agonia wrote. in an email. “Residents should not park in a park or public school parking lot, as these parking areas must be cleared of snow.”
Another suggestion that comes up repeatedly in online discussions is the Rhode Island Hospital garage, which is considerably more affordable than the convention center or mall. But there’s a reason for that: it’s intended for people undergoing outpatient treatment or visiting patients in hospital.
To avoid creating problems for hospital patients and visitors, people shouldn’t leave their cars “for days or longer than nighttime hours,” Lifespan spokeswoman Kathleen Hart said. .
Don’t want to pay for parking? Here are some strategies to try
Your landlord is not legally required to provide you with a parking spot, but it’s worth asking if they have any recommendations. They may be able to tell you what tenants have been up to in the past, or even have space for you to park in another building that they own.
If you usually park at work, you may be able to leave your car there, provided you can move it before the snow removal company shows up. Alternatively, your boss or coworkers may have a driveway in their house that they’ll let you use, especially if you volunteer to help shovel.
You might also want to scout your neighborhood for businesses that have their own parking lots and see if they’ll let you park there overnight. (It helps if you’re already a regular.) Churches and community centers are also a good bet.
There may already be an off-street parking spot in your area, so ask around or start a discussion on your neighborhood Facebook group or Nextdoor.com. Generally, though, you’ll want to check who owns that parking lot before you go on and abandon your car.
Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Fox Point has a reputation for allowing neighborhood residents to park on their lot during storms, for example. However, a receptionist warned that anyone wishing to do so should call and get permission as the church is towing unknown cars.
Where to park (for free) in Pawtucket during a parking ban
The town of Pawtucket has released a map of more than two dozen places you can park for free during a snowstorm, including a number of schools and town-owned lots.
Cars must be moved within two hours of the parking ban being lifted, unless you wish to be ticketed and towed.
Where to park (for free) in East Providence during a parking ban
Earlier this year, Mayor Bob DaSilva reminded residents that “should a dreaded parking ban be instituted, we are making our public parking lots available for off-street parking.”
His Facebook post has a comprehensive list of locations, including many of the city’s parks and schools.
Cars must be moved two hours after the parking ban is lifted, so that these lots can be cleared of snow.
Where to park (for free) in Bristol during a parking ban
Bristol has designated ten “emergency snow parking lots”. Locations include the Prudence Island Ferry parking lot, Guiteras School and the Cup Defenders’ Association. Find the full list here.
Cars must be removed within one hour of the end of the parking ban.