What tips and tricks are there for NYC alternate side parking?
September 23, 2021 2:09 PM   Subscribe

What tips and tricks do you have for navigating alternate side parking in Brooklyn?

I started borrowing a car last week, and last night when I had to move my car for street cleaning, it took me an hour of driving around before I could find a spot.

This is in Bed Stuy, and particularly this area.

1. What is the best time to move my car? I work from home, so I can look for a new space at any time, from morning until after midnight.

2. I mostly just aimlessly drove around. Is there some strategy for looking for spaces?

What tips and tricks do you have for moving your car for street cleaning?
posted by andoatnp to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You work from home? Just double park. Its perfectly acceptable and approved by the city.

Move your car right at the cleaning time, and move it back after the sweepers go by. If you are a really nice person leave your phone number on your windshield just in case.
posted by RajahKing at 2:18 PM on September 23, 2021 [3 favorites]

Agreed on double-parking if that's possible. Also be sure to have the suspension calendar handy, since the city suspends street cleaning for a lot of holidays that you might not even have heard of. One tactic I would use is if I saw, for example, that the Feast of the Assumption was on a Wednesday, the week before I would park my car in a Wednesday spot after cleaning ends. Then I wouldn't have to touch my car for almost two weeks! During the winter you should also follow the nyc dot on twitter, because they suspend for snow, sometimes for a long time.

It's also worth keeping in mind that a street cleaning ticket in Brooklyn is $45. That means that if you got one ticket every week, you'd be paying $180 per month, which is a great price for a parking space in NYC.
posted by Ragged Richard at 2:41 PM on September 23, 2021 [10 favorites]

For monitoring suspensions: the NYC Alt Side Parking Twitter account updates 2x/day; nyc311 app; sign up for email notification at this .gov site
Timing your search depends on your neighbors' schedules (early-shift workers who drive to their jobs = opportunity).
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:10 PM on September 23, 2021

Hi! I am a car-haver in the same neighborhood and very rarely have a hard time parking. Agreed that if you wfh, just doublepark on cleaning days and move your car back at the end of the cleaning window.

Also, trying to park after 6pm is the most challenging on any given night bc most people are kind of staying put after that point, or at least aren't out and about driving, so circling a block isn't going to help you if no one is leaving. So if you need to use the car for an errand or something like that, try to do it in the morning and parking again midday/afternoon while people are still coming and going vacating parking spots, and before the work day is over and people are back at their homes not going anywhere. If Thursday is your street cleaning day, try to move your car Wednesday afternoon instead of at night.

Also, best to drive down quieter blocks that aren't major thoroughfares where people aren't likely to be driving through and just grab a spot.

All that being said, sometimes your timing isn't flexible and you have to try to park at like 10pm on a Sunday night (the absolute worst time) and you have to drive around for an hour. Them's the breaks!

Good luck!
posted by greta simone at 3:11 PM on September 23, 2021 [2 favorites]

Each street has different tradition for double parking. In some streets you have to actually be in the car. In others you can park and leave a noteZ
posted by sandmanwv at 5:24 PM on September 23, 2021 [1 favorite]

Each street has different tradition for double parking. In some streets you have to actually be in the car.

Yeah, I want to emphasize this. In many places, double-parking is unheard of, so definitely be sure it's the done thing before you do it.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 6:24 PM on September 23, 2021

In the part of Astoria where I live, the tradition is to move the car for some period of time (I do about an hours worth of car errands) and then park on the street cleaning side and wait. If the sweeper comes, you quickly move out of the way and then re-park and sit in the car until the end of street cleaning time. In my area the street cleaning is 11:30-1, and the sweeper usually comes about 12:15. Fun times.
posted by Pineapplicious at 12:13 PM on September 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

This is how i used to to it in queens.

If you can be in the car during cleaning time......Sit in the car during the designated time for cleaning. Read a book for the 90 mins.

If traffic wardens come to move you on, circle the block and return to the spot.

If the sweeper comes, move out the way onto the other side then reverse back into the spot. STAY THERE in your till the end of the time - traffic wardens will ticket cars even if the sweeper has been there and cleaned the street.
posted by lalochezia at 2:25 PM on September 24, 2021

I have found the best policy is to park on the later cleaning side day early in the week, when there isn’t a desperate rat race rush. Then either move as soon as the other side’s cleaning is done, or move the car to the next alternate side zone that has an earlier schedule if it is close enough…

None of the blocks I’ve lived on has ever had double parking… (And I’d be livid to find my car blocked in by people who double park and go…)
posted by rambling wanderlust at 5:20 AM on September 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

Once you’re done with the car for the weekend, park on the side with street sweeping later in the week. Move to the opposite side as soon as the ASP period ends. During work from home, I was always on a block where sweeping ended at 1pm, and I’d be out there during my lunch by 130 and have my choice of spots that would be good thru the weekend.
posted by charlemangy at 9:34 PM on October 31, 2021

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