Parking in New York City on Friday, April 21
April 15, 2017 8:16 AM   Subscribe

I am traveling to NYC for the first time in 20 years. We are driving from Washington, DC. I am not able to take any public transportation, Uber, or Lyft. We will be walking the city to see some sights. Central Park, Empire State Building, Times Square, and Ground Zero. Where is a good central area to park? What does parking for 12+ hours cost in NYC?
posted by Coffee Bean to Travel & Transportation (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Icon is a large chain of parking lots. You can look at all their lots and the prices for each. I (fortunately) don't drive in NYC, so I can't promise these rates are typical, but it's a datum point.
posted by d. z. wang at 8:32 AM on April 15


In short, it depends. A very handy website is Best Parking, they also have an app. You can set the times you'd like to park the car and it will give you a range of options and prices, and sometimes partnered garages have coupons as well.

It's likely that you would want to take some form of public transportation, as it is over four miles between WTC and Central Park - even if you parked at a central location, you're walking a good deal that day.

You say you are not able to take any public transportation - if this is because of a disability, NYC parking garages may not be of a much help either, since many are underground, with steep ramps to walk back up once cars are left with attendants. Best Parking should be able to describe if the parking lots are outdoor or underground, make a note of that if it is relevant to you.
posted by stachemaster at 8:33 AM on April 15


I'd recommend using a parking reservation app like BestParking or Parking Panda. You can very easily see rates for different locations. Personally, I would put Times Square at the epicenter of a map search in one of those apps and chose a spot on the fringes of midtown that hits your personal comfort level between having to walk a few extra blocks to "the good stuff" and having to pay $40-50 vs. $25 (and remember that east-west blocks in NYC are deceptively long). If you're not doing public transit/cabs not because of disability but because you're taking your dogs with you and you're planning this as a single daytrip, note that the hike from midtown down to ground zero is looong--about 10 miles round trip and that's not even including any side trips to see other stuff in the midtown area or getting up further into central park at all. But there are apparently dog taxi services in NYC.
posted by drlith at 8:56 AM on April 15


Do more planning, it's "only" 4 miles from central park to WTC but it's in the city and that can be really tiring, and if you begin to zigzag the distance can really add up. It's a week day so parking will be pricey but a full day rate can be less than changing locations. Just wandering around is fascinating but getting to everything in your question could be challenging. The line to go up the Empire state building sounds absurd, like a full day project so if that's vital be there an hour before opening. There may be scheduled tickets to the WTC so that could determine a schedule. Rather than central if you're wanting to walk a lot to pick one end (by the park may be a smidge less than wall street) and plan a walk down and back with planned cafe's and lunch spots to take a break. If you're there after dark times square is insane for a few minutes.
posted by sammyo at 9:46 AM on April 15


Yes, if your issue is some kind of mobility or sensory impairment, I think you'll find it quite challenging to do this itinerary strictly on foot after parking anywhere. It would be tiring even for a fit and able person. The Park is "only" four miles or so from Ground Zero if you measure strictly from its southern boundary, but presumably you're going to want to walk around in it, etc., and quickly you're looking at a ten-mile day, on mostly flat terrain, sure, but filled with people.

If you drop Ground Zero, you make the trip much more manageable (and don't contribute to the sentimental-fascist complex built around it). You'd park somewhere in Midtown. If your goal is just to get a view from high up, you condense the trip even more if you substitute Top of the Rock for ESB, and Top of the Rock has timed tickets. Waiting on that line at the ESB is no fun.
posted by praemunire at 10:02 AM on April 15 [1 favorite]


You can use SpotHero to find and pre-book garage parking in NYC, although I'm not able to recommend a particular location because I agree that this is an overly ambitious walking route.

If you're comfortable doing so, it would be helpful if you could say why you can't take those transportation methods? Can you take yellow cabs? Ubers and Lyfts will often take dogs; just give them a heads up.
posted by lalex at 10:03 AM on April 15


This would be one hell of a slog to walk with many many bleak concrete blocks of nothing much to see; maybe park in Midtown for a block of time and downtown for another block of time?

And if you could avoid calling the WTC/memorial "ground zero" when you're here you would be an exemplary visitor.
posted by kapers at 10:57 AM on April 15 [5 favorites]


Our best experience was to park in Liberty State Park and take the Ferry to the city. You land right next to WTC memorial.

Alternatively we have parked on 42nd right at the output of the Lincoln Tunnel. The benefit of that garage is that it's park yourself - you have access to your car during the day if you want to drop things back at the car. Unfortunately it's on 11th or so, which means you have a good walk to Broadway and 42nd.
posted by NoDef at 12:27 PM on April 15


Two thoughts:
1) what about doing a hop-on-hop-off bus?
2) Central Park is lovely but it is, as the name would suggest, a big park. Is there something specific you'd like to see? Or do you just want to check the Central Park box?
posted by kat518 at 12:46 PM on April 15


I drove (commuted) to NYC every day for years and years. Parking in a garage is easy. It is the minor leagues compared to finding a legal street spot in Manhattan. Generally, parking between the outer avenues, say east of third or west of 8th or 9th will get you the best price. If you see an apartment building, they generally have good day rates. In by say 9:00AM and out by 5:00PM and it is much less expensive than a lot by a tourist area. The cost will also depend on the size of your vehicle. I have a large pickup. Most garages charge more for vehicles over a certain size.

There is a garage on 31st across from Madison Square Garden that is a self park. During the day it has reasonable rates that are jacked up at night during an event. It is pretty centrally located to the Empire State Building and the park.

If you park it all day, it could cost you about a half a hundred but most of the cost is for the first few hours. The other alternative I have used is to take the chance on a ticket. If the ticket is say $100 and you think you have a 50-50 shot of getting one, park on the street before you pay more than $50 for garage parking. The other consideration is to pay for street parking for a few hours per location and then drive to your next location. People will tell you that it is so hard to drive in NYC and to find a spot, but it is my experience that, maybe because people think that, it is relatively easy to find a metered spot on the street for a few hours at a time.

Also, if you have DC or Maryland or Virginia plates on your car, I am not sure what the teeth is or the ramifications of simply not paying a parking ticket. If it is your first one and you are not in a no parking zone, you will not get towed.
posted by AugustWest at 7:38 PM on April 15


When considering parking in New York, make sure to take the toll into account ($15-17) - the only way to avoid paying that is to park in New Jersey (Jersey City, most likely) and take public transit (PATH or NJTransit, PATH is cheaper) in instead.
posted by R a c h e l at 6:58 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


There's also the option of driving to the Port Imperial/NY Waterways ferry in NJ, parking in the lot and taking the ferry in & out of NYC (I've only taken it to the 38th St and West Side landing, but one route goes to the WTC area). It gives you a nice view of the city from the boat, but of course you still have the problem of your in-city itinerary having unrealistic distances to cover by foot in one day. The ferry has their own bus system that loops around a few neighborhoods, which is free to ferry riders, but I guess whatever the 'no public transportation' issue is would rule that out too?
posted by oh yeah! at 9:15 AM on April 17


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