street cleaning sign

New York City Street Cleaning Rules
Suspension Calendar info

Legal Holidays: On major legal holidays stopping, standing and parking are permitted except in areas where stopping, standing and parking rules are in effect seven days a week (for example, "No Standing Anytime"). This essentially means that on major legal holidays, Sunday parking rules are in effect. You still have to put money in meters if the meter is in effect seven days a week. On other street cleaning holidays, only street cleaning is suspended; be sure to obey all other parking rules, signs, and meters.

Please note the difference between rules for street cleaning and traffic flow. Street cleaning suspensions only apply if you see the broom sign (as shown at the top of this page) and there is "alternative side parking". They don't apply in places where parking is not allowed for traffic flow reasons (a no parking sign without the broom sign,) or in locations (such as avenues) where there is no alternative side parking because street cleaning happens Monday through Friday or Monday through Saturday. Alternative side parking refers to street cleaning happening to different sides of a street on different days of the week.

snowflake Snow conditions or emergency situations may lead to further suspensions. Dial 311, the city information line, for information on non-scheduled suspensions. You can also obtain this information radio stations, and traffic websites.

Double Parking: In many neighborhoods in New York City, people double park their cars for the duration of street cleaning, on the side of the street that is not being cleaned that day. This practice has always been technically illegal ("Double parking of passenger vehicles is illegal at all times, including street cleaning days, regardless of location, purpose or duration"--DOT). In some neighborhoods, on many streets, however, double parking for the duration of street cleaning is openly tolerated by the authorities. Since this practice is not permitted everywhere, it's best to check with the locals of the neighborhood before you try this yourself, because tickets are too easy to get if you make a mistake. Also, if you double park your car for an extended period of time, it's very important that you leave some contact information displayed in your car, such as a piece or paper with your telephone number on the dashboard. This way any cars that you have blocked in can call you so you can let them out. Leaving your telephone number is a little thing you can do that makes the city a more livable place.

Don't Get a Ticket!
Don't Get towed!

Avoid tickets.

Read the signs.


Start at the top and go down.

The best way to avoid tickets is to get rid of your car and bike everywhere.

Out of towners are reminded that it is illegal to park within 15 feet of either side of a fire hydrant in New York City. You used to be able to get away with a slightly shorter distance, but I hear that the city has been more aggressively issuing tickets lately to make up for its economic woes. Look out. You are also reminded that all of NYC has been designated a Tow Away Zone. Your parked car may be towed for any reason, even if it is parked legally. Out of towners are also reminded that cars with license plates from distant states are more likely to be burglarized, so take extra care to not leave any valuables in your car.

Dude, where's my car? If you return to your car and it is missing, don't panic--it's not necessarily stolen. If you parked illegally somewhere, it's very like that your car has been towed. Call the number listed below for the tow pound in the borough where you last parked your car. If the tow pound has your car, you should try to get it as soon as possible to avoid paying extra fees for storage. You will need to bring a lot of cash with you to get your car. The whole experience is annoying and humiliating, as if your car was sent to jail, and you have to come and bail it out. If the tow pound doesn't have your car, or you didn't park illegally, call the NYPD at (212) 869-2929 or the local police precinct.

Helpful numbers:

The most important number to remember is 311. A friendly recorded voice will tell you right away about alternate side parking suspensions for today and tommorrow. If you need further assistance for any non-emergency issue pertaining to city government, friendly operators are available 24/7. Trying to locate the right city agency in the past was so slow and painful; only those who have experienced the shameful past can truly understand what a blessing this new service is. Bloomberg made his billions by offering a superior information product for the financial industry, after all, so it makes sense that his administration would get this right. If calling from outside the city, use the number (212) NEW-YORK. For (212) 504-4115 for TTY service Here are the old direct numbers.
The general number for all non-emergency NYC services, dialed from inside the city 311
general help line outside New York City (212) NEW YORK
general help line, TTY service (212) 504-4115
Street Cleaning Rules, Community Board Info
Streetlight/Traffic Signal Problems, Potholes
Emergency Street Cleaning Suspensions
(212) or (718) CALL-DOT (225-5368)
Hotline for TTY Deaf or Hearing-Impaired(212) 442-9488
Manhattan Tow Pound (212) 971-0771
Bronx Tow Pound (718) 585-1249
Brooklyn Tow Pound (718) 694-0696
Queens Tow Pound (718) 786-7122
Parking Violations Operations Division Help Line (718) 422-7800 (in New York state)
(800) 813-8193 (out of state)
(718) 802-3555 (TTY)

Helpful web sites:
The city's Department of Transportation web site has improved immensely since I first started putting this calendar online. Go to the city's site for more details on the city's laws, and traffic advisories.

A good list of links is Yahoo! New York's Travel and Transportation page.

Metrocommute used to be my favorite traffic information site. They have some nifty live traffic cams. (Now I just bike everyone, so I don't really care.)

Dan Freedberg has this to say about parking your motorcycle on the streets of New York City: "I'm always puzzled when I see bikes parked in lots that cost more for a year's worth of parking than the value of the bike. I always park on the street and try to look for the half spaces into which cars cannot fit. This doesn't mean that the bike won't be knocked over or stolen, of course, but if your bike is an old one, the risk seems worth taking. "

the longest URL you'll ever see on a dumptruck: As much as we hate moving our cars, remember we do it to keep the streets of New York clean.

A very complete reference on tickets can now be found at Parking Violations Operations official web site, with such wonders as the Parking Violations Alphabetic Site Index, and online parking ticket payment. If you receive a ticket, it may also be worthwhile going to the Parking Pal site. Parking Pal is a company dedicated to providing services to help motorists avoid getting parking tickets, and avoid paying fines for parking tickets they have received.

I would love to post or link to information listing normal street cleaning times and dates throughout the city (block by block information), but this information is not available. The Sanitation Department has the information, but they have never compiled it together into a single source. "It would be the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica" according the Sanitation Department's public affairs office.

Don't Get a Ticket!

Avoid tickets. Read the signs. Carefully. Start at the top and go down.

It is very easy to get a parking ticket in New York City because the rules are so complicated. Many of us, myself included, have learned the hard way. The expensive, annoying way. Best of luck in your continuing journey for legal, ticket-free parking. Things are probably going to get worse, since the city would always like more money.


Site © 2009 Mark Chackerian, who assumes no responsibility whatsoever for any losses or damages incurred from use of this information. Use at your own risk. The source of information for the calendar is publicly available information from NYC's Department of Transportation.

Please note that I am private citizen not affiliated with the city. I maintain this side as a minor "good deed". I encourage you all to accomplish a few "good deeds" now and then to make the city a better place. And if you can't manage that, at least try to be a little more considerate. Some suggestions: let people get off the subway first, don't honk.

Contact information

I welcome any comments, questions, ideas for improvements, etc.


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