Where to park a moving van overnight in Cambridge or Somerville, MA
May 16, 2016 2:03 PM   Subscribe

My wife and I are currently driving a moving truck to the Boston area. We were supposed to arrive at a storage facility to unload some things by 6pm and return the truck to Uhaul this evening, but we won't make it to the storage facility in time. So now we need a place to park the 15' truck overnight. Does anyone know who can take our money and let us do this in the Boston/Cambridge/Somerville area tonight?

We know street parking for a UHaul is illegal in Cambridge and Somerville without a permit, and suspect most parking garages won't be able to accommodate our truck because its clearance is too high. We have called the UHaul where we are supposed to return the truck (in Medford) to see if we can park overnight without returning it until tomorrow after we unload, but haven't heard back.

Please help!
posted by dyslexictraveler to Travel & Transportation around Boston, MA (21 answers total)
There are some private parking lots listed here. They mostly make money from commuters during the day and would make a deal with you for overnight parking. Or, try a gas station that closes overnight, or a store that has a bit of private parking.
posted by beagle at 2:22 PM on May 16, 2016

Best answer: If you have a second car or money for a cab, it looks like there are some streets in Medford where a permit is not required: http://medfordpolice.com/parking-permits/. Malden and other nearby towns may also have non-permitted streets where you could park.

I think you can also park on the street in Waltham, which you can get to via the commuter rail from Porter Square, if you don't have a second car or want to pay for a cab.
posted by Aizkolari at 2:23 PM on May 16, 2016

Looks like the truck is too tall for either of the municipal structures in Cambridge. I would try calling other U-Hauls in the vicinity--there's one in Central Square.

In a pinch, I suppose you could always overnight with your truck in a nearby-ish rest stop, but boy that wouldn't be fun.
posted by praemunire at 2:26 PM on May 16, 2016

Best answer: Can you stay in a hotel near your destination? We did that when we moved with our cars full of crap. We paid the Valet an extra $20 to park them close and keep an eye on them.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:32 PM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

Mass Ave. in North Cambridge is metered parking from about Rindge to Clarendon and then free parking to the Arlington town line. Metered parking is free after 8. As long as you're ok leaving the truck unattended (and locked, hopefully), I'd risk the $50 ticket and leave it somewhere like that. You'll end up spending nearly that much on parking anyway.

Alternatively, you could try parking it in the Fresh Pond Mall lot; I've seen buses and other large vehicles parked by the side of the lot near the railroad tracks, but I don't know how well they deal with overnighters. It's walking distance to the Alewife T stop.
posted by backseatpilot at 2:56 PM on May 16, 2016

Best answer: For what it is worth - I am currently sitting in a building next door to that Uhaul. I suspect you could park the truck there overnight and "return it" in the morning. The parking lot is completely open all night.

See also Memail
posted by maryr at 3:04 PM on May 16, 2016 [6 favorites]

The Fresh Pond Mall lot is basically adjacent to projects (the Rindge Houses). I wouldn't call it unsafe at night, but I admit I'd be reluctant to leave a truck with all my worldly goods there overnight.
posted by praemunire at 3:06 PM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh, hey, I totally missed that your truck is still full of stuff. Errr, anyway, if you need a body on the ground, let me know.
posted by maryr at 3:10 PM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have no idea if this is a service movers offer, but my first thought would be to call a local moving company and ask if you could park on their lot for a fee. These folks look like they hit the sweet spot of being independent, in the correct neighborhood (almost) and well reviewed on yelp.
posted by phil at 3:24 PM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Actually, anyone know if Somerville Visitor parking permits would cover a Uhaul? The website doesn't say (the rules are apparently on the back) and I'm at work so I can't check mine.
posted by maryr at 4:00 PM on May 16, 2016

Best answer: I know that Uhaul facility (on Alewife Brook Parkway?) well and live nearby. I agree that you can probably use the Uhaul parking lot overnight - I've dropped vans off after they close many times. Like, small chance they might get mad. Microscopic chance of anything actually bad happening - just get there before they open.

Oh and my visitor pass doesn't say anything about not being good for moving vans... only problem would be finding 15 feet with no driveways to block :/
posted by mskyle at 4:01 PM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

At 7'2" in height, a 15 foot U-haul truck just might be able to get into the Alewife MBTA Garage (maximum clearance: 7'2") which has overnight parking right on the Red Line.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:12 PM on May 16, 2016

If you're willing to pay to park in a lot why not just park in front of your new house/apartment and pay the $25 (or whatever) it is and forget about it? It will most likely be cheaper to do that than find a "real" parking lot and I really doubt they will tow the truck if you're parked in a legal spot, e.g.not blocking a fire hydrant or sidewalk ramp.

And if you're worried about security, you should be able to put a pad lock or combination lock on the truck.
posted by eatcake at 4:29 PM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

If you're willing to pay to park in a lot why not just park in front of your new house/apartment

Or, he could just put the truck in a bag of holding. In Boston/Cambridge/Somerville, that's about as plausible as finding fifteen feet of unused street parking in a residential area at night.

I misread the dimensions on the UHaul site--I was otherwise going to suggest that Alewife MBTA garage, too. It's like $8 for overnight. It's had its own issues of security but it would still be better than leaving the truck in the open somewhere.
posted by praemunire at 4:55 PM on May 16, 2016 [3 favorites]

The back of the visitor permit doesn't say it's not good for UHauls / moving vans. OP, don't post your address here but if you feel okay, posting the neighborhood where you / your van needs to go might be helpful.
posted by Hypatia at 5:08 PM on May 16, 2016

I am not from the area, so I have no idea if there's one nearby, but WalMart allows overnight parking. Put a lock on the truck and park it butt out, close to the storefront. All WalMarts have parking lot cameras.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 5:55 PM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

If it's not too far, you could park at the airport. It looks like Thrify Parking has just a simple open lot, so no issues with truck height:


posted by slagheap at 6:07 PM on May 16, 2016

We parked our rental truck in a HomeDepot parking lot last night. No problem. Maybe a large store lot in your area would work.
posted by SLC Mom at 6:20 PM on May 16, 2016

Response by poster: Thank you all for your helpful suggestions!

maryr and mskyle, we made the mistake of asking permission first, and of course it is against policy for them to allow anyone to park there with personal belongings in it. But now we kind of wish we had just gone ahead and parked there overnight, especially with your assessment of the place!

Anyway, we decided to basically follow Ruthless Bunny's suggestion. We changed our hotel to one where we could confirm they had an open lot that allows trucks rather than a garage with low overhead clearance or street parking.

Also, just for future reference for someone looking here: According to the Somerville and Cambridge parking authorities' websites, a moving truck, even one rented to consumers, is considered a commercial vehicle and so a visitor's parking pass doesn't cover it. In fact, a long time ago, I got a parking ticket (at 3am, no less) for using a visitor's pass in Somerville for a UHaul.
posted by dyslexictraveler at 8:39 PM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

Glad it worked out! Happy moving!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:13 PM on May 17, 2016

Somerville Parking Enforcement: CONSTANT VIGILANCE.

Again, welcome to the area. You should come to trivia some time! =)
posted by maryr at 7:19 AM on May 18, 2016

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