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What you need to know about NYC alternate side parking – and how to win at it

  • Things To Know
  • Renee Martin
  • 11 minutes

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It’s hard enough finding parking in NYC without the added burden of parking rules and regulations. Unfortunately, it’s a necessary evil all NYC drivers have to deal with! Out of all of them, NYC Alternate Side Parking(ASP) is one of the hardest to navigate. However, you needn’t worry yourself too much – we’ve broken down everything you need to know about it in this post.

There are a million reasons why NYC is famous worldwide – but there are also quite a few for which it is infamous! Anyone who’s been in New York City for more than a day can testify to it being one of the most traffic-ridden cities in the world. Unfortunately, this also has a knock-on effect on all things car-related – including finding convenient NYC parking! In fact, the most common complaints from drivers are due to NYC alternate side parking regulations, which they say is a tough act to follow. 

Affordable NYC parking

The concept of alternate side parking has been a topic of contention for quite some years now. It has been in place in the city since the mid-1950s. While some see it as an efficient way of keeping the city clean, others feel that it has significantly affected the flow of traffic.  As of today, ASP regulations are enforced over 2,300 miles of New York City streets.

What is NYC Alternate Side Parking (ASP)? 

NYC Alternate Side Parking (ASP) is a regular feature in New York City. It refers to the clearing of parked vehicles from specific streets so that the Department of Sanitation can conduct its regular street cleaning drives. This happens once or twice a week in all neighborhoods, across all NYC boroughs. It’s common to see NYC street sweepers spraying water and cleaning the streets using a rotating broom and vacuum system. 

Since the Department of Transportation oversees it, those who violate the schedule are often slapped with a hefty NYC alternate side parking ticket! 

nyc alternate side parking

NYC Alternate Side parking: A History 

Before you curse your luck for living in a city with such bizarre rules, you must understand why they were created in the first place. The reason is simple – waste management! In the 1950s, New York City officials were aghast at the amount of garbage collected on the streets. The Department of Sanitation had already deployed mechanical street sweepers to clean the streets. The only obstacle to it was the parked cars that remained on street. 

Since some cars remained in a spot for days on end, it was almost impossible for them to clean the streets in a logical manner. Enter Alternate Side Parking (ASP) – a new innovation. It is said to be the brainchild of either Paul Rogers Screvane (a sanitation commissioner in Queens) or Isidore Cohen, a Department of Sanitation employee who later became Manhattan borough superintendent. Either way, it was such a novelty that it was hailed as one of the greatest innovations the department had seen.

What should you know about NYC Alternate Side Parking (ASP)? 

  • The law is in effect year-round. It is only suspended for holidays or certain specified events.
  • The ASP signs are posted on all concerned streets with the scheduled street sweeping times.
  • It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure their vehicles are on the correct side of the street. If they violate this rule, the cars could be towed or fined. 
  • Most visitors are often confused by the ASP regulations, instead preferring to park in off-site garages or choosing valet parking to rid themselves of the hassle.
  • Even the most experienced NYC residents have fallen victim to NYC ASP parking tickets – mostly because of working late or oversleeping which causes them to leave a car for too long on the wrong side of the street.
  • Street cleaning usually runs like clockwork – so don’t count on street sweepers not turning up! If you’ve parked overnight or on days when street cleaning is scheduled to happen, it’s much more convenient to move your car than risk an NYC alternate side parking ticket.
  • NYC Street cleaning timings are clearly mentioned on most NYC parking signs – so you can’t excuse yourself by saying that you were unaware!  

 We know it can get really frustrating, especially when finding that coveted parking spot in the first place is a hassle in itself! 

cheap NYC parking

How does NYC ASP work, practically?

Let’s take an example. When ASP rules are in effect on a street running east to west, cars should be moved from the south side every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a few hours each day. Owners must move them from the north side of the street on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. They can be left in their current location on Sundays and certain holidays. The ASP timings depend on where you live in NYC. Additionally, ASP rules may be suspended on different days in different neighborhoods.

Recent reforms to NYC ASP rules 

In June 2020, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced new reforms to Alternate Side Parking (ASP). According to the reform, non-metered side streets with multiple ASP days will be cleaned once per week – the most significant change to ASP rules in a few decades. 

The new rules are applicable only to non-metered residential ‘side streets’ and not to commercial areas. All streets with multiple ASP days will be cleaned on the last day of the week – as posted on the parking signs. 

For example, if the parking sign on a street indicates that ASP would be implemented on Tuesdays and Fridays, then under the new rules the street would be cleaned on Friday only. However, the daily sweeping rules pertaining to NYC streets will not change. The Department of Sanitation would continue to clean streets that have No Parking, No Standing, and No Parking regulations as and when required. 

How big are these reforms?

Pretty big, considering that the last time such a significant change was implemented was way back in 2000. At that point, the City had reduced the duration of sweeping windows from three hours to 90 minutes. Several neighborhoods were singled out for reduced sweeping frequency – such as Brooklyn Community Board 6 (Park Slope & Red Hook), Brooklyn Community Board 7 (Sunset Park), and Manhattan Community Board 12 (Washington Heights & Inwood). 

Can you park at a spot after the street sweeper passes? 

That’s a common question that several drivers have attempted to answer through valiant attempts – and have failed every time! You cannot park at a spot during street cleaning times even if you saw the sweeper go by. Sometimes, the sweeper might go around the block twice – which could land you with an NYC Alternate side parking ticket. 

What happens if you don’t move your car for street cleaning in NYC?

If you don’t move your car before the street cleaning timings, you can be slapped with a hefty NYC parking ticket. In extreme cases, your car could also be towed! Keep an eye on the parking signboards – they usually mention alternate side parking timings. Move your car out of the parking space during these timings to avoid the hassle of a parking ticket.

How much will an NYC ASP ticket cost you? 

Tickets from street cleaning are the number one source of parking violation revenue in most of NYC’s five boroughs – so expect it to cost you a lot! Generally, tickets will range between $45-65 across NYC. 

On what days are NYC alternate side parking rules suspended? 

Thankfully, you won’t have to deal with ASP on certain federal and national holidays. Here are a few holidays during which alternate side parking is suspended in NYC. More details are available on the website of DOT. 

New Year’s Day Saturday, January 1
Three Kings’ Day (Epiphany) Thursday, January 6
Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Monday, January 17
Lunar New Year’s Eve Monday, January 31
Lunar New Year Tuesday, February 1
Lincoln’s Birthday Saturday, February 12
Washington’s Birthday (Presidents Day) Monday, February 21
Ash Wednesday Wednesday, March 2
Purim Thurday, March 17
Holy Thursday Thursday, April 14
Good Friday Friday, April 15
Passover (1st Day) Saturday, April 16
Holy Thursday (Orthodox) Thursday, April 21
Passover (7th/8th Days) Friday – Saturday, April 22–23
Good Friday (Orthodox) Friday, April 22
Eid al-Fitr (Idul-Fitr) Monday – Wednesday, May 2 – 4
Solemnity of Ascension Thursday, May 26
Memorial Day Monday, May 30
Shavuot Monday, June 6
Juneteenth (Observed) Monday, June 20
Independence Day Monday, July 4
Eid Al-Adha (Idul-Adha) Saturday – Monday, July 9–11
Feast of the Assumption Monday, August 15
Labor Day Monday, September 5
Rosh Hashanah Monday –Tuesday, September 26 – 27
Yom Kippur Wednesday, October 5
Columbus Day Monday, October 10
Succoth (2 Days) Monday – Tuesday, October 10–11
Shemini Atzereth Monday, October 17
Simchas Torah Tuesday, October 18
Diwali Monday, October 24
All Saints’ Day Tuesday, November 1
Election Day Tuesday, November 8
Veterans Day Friday, November 11
Thanksgiving Day Thursday, November 24
Immaculate Conception Thursday, December 8
Christmas Day (observed) Monday, December 26

Keep track of NYC alternate side parking updates through Twitter 

A nifty little trick to keep track of NYC ASP timings is to check their live updates on Twitter. Follow the handle ‘@NYCASP’ and you’ll be alerted every time they make an announcement or when there are changes to the schedule. This is also handy when the City of New York suspends street cleaning during severe weather or snowstorms.  

Is there an NYC alternate side parking map you can follow? 

Yes, The DOT has an online NYC parking map that allows you to quickly find where alternate parking is being implemented and at what times. However, it’s not quite the smoothest tech, and can occasionally glitch. We also recommend looking at other options that don’t require a map. For example, you can use a parking app to book cheaper garages instead! 

Use  parking apps to beat alternate side parking headaches 

ASP is only going to be a worry if you intend to park on the street. To be honest, you could easily avoid the hassle and instead book an off-site NYC parking garage! We’d recommend using parking apps like Way.com that pinpoint top-rated garages nearby using a smooth interface.

Once you’ve chosen your garage, you can book a spot in just a few simple swipes! That’s much more effective than driving around searching for spots and navigating the maze of street cleaning schedules. Having a garage spot also means you can avoid getting hefty parking tickets and instead invest that in keeping your car safe and secure at an indoor location. Besides, most discounts and deals can cut up to 50% off your drive-up rates. Overall, they offer great value for money over street parking.

What other NYC parking rules should you know? 

Keep in mind the following general rules when navigating ASP schedules. 

Keep an eye out for the following parking signs: 

  • No Stopping: In these locations, you cannot stop to drop off/pick up passengers, wait in your car, or load/unload anything. 
  • No Standing:  These signs indicate where you can stop to drop off/pick up passengers, but cannot load/unload anything or even wait in your car. 
  • No Parking: You can stop to drop off/pick up passengers or load/unload packages or luggage, but you cannot wait with your car. 
  1. Always park 15 feet from either side of a fire hydrant 
  2. Do not double park – this is illegal at all times no matter what anyone else says or does. 
  3. Parking rules are suspended on all major legal holidays (standing, stopping, and parking sign rules). The only exceptions are when the signs explicitly mention they are in effect seven days a week. 
  4. Towing is fair game for any car that violates parking regulations.  

NYC Alternate Side Parking Rules: A ready reckoner for 2022

  • Regulations will only be in effect on the last day posted on the sign.
  • NYC ASP signboards depict a sanitation broom symbol. 
  • If one street side has ASP rules enforced on Tuesday and Friday, it will be swept on Friday only.
  • When the other side has ASP rules enforced on Monday and Thursday, it will be swept on Thursday only.
  • There will be no change in the schedule for streets on which ASP is enforced only on one day.

Do these rules apply to metered areas? 

No, it does not. Daily sweeping in metered areas will continue to be in effect. This also includes the 30-minute parking restrictions effective from Monday through Saturday in metered areas. Parking meters will also remain in effect. 

Does this affect other parking regulations? 

No, this change in ASP rules only affects street sweeping regulations. It will not have any effect on other restrictions like No Stopping or No Standing rules.

nyc alternate side parking

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