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Free parking in NYC

jpeirpont

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I am going a road trip, leaving from Hartford CT and stopping in Philly and D.C for a couple days each. On my way back to CT I want to go to NY. I usually park in Stamford and take the train to NYC, since this isn't possible, I'd like to find a place in NY to park. Somewhere convenient to Manhattan, and free or very cheap. Anyone know of any good spots?
 

marc237

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It is really a timing issue. You can find on street parking in residential neighborhoods of Manhattan and the outer boros relatively easy. The problems will be (1) the need to move the car for alternative side of the street parking and (2) that a nice car with out-of-state plates is a target for thieves.

For less expensive off-street parking, consider the lots in downtown Brooklyn (way cheaper than midtown Manhattan). One other option might be to find a secure lot along the Path line in NJ and take the Path into the City. Parking in NJ is even cheaper than Brookyn and the Path line is very fast into Manhattan (less than 15 minutes at the worst).
 

vaclava krishna

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Originally Posted by jpeirpont
I am going a road trip, leaving from Hartford CT and stopping in Philly and D.C for a couple days each. On my way back to CT I want to go to NY. I usually park in Stamford and take the train to NYC, since this isn't possible, I'd like to find a place in NY to park. Somewhere convenient to Manhattan, and free or very cheap. Anyone know of any good spots?

Go for, the upper east side, and 96th they have, free Pinkertons.
 

contactme_11

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Park at Penn station in Newark, NJ and take the train. It will be like 7 bucks for the day and its something close to a 10 minute ride to Manhatten.
 

Spudbunny

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Keep in mind how much you value your time going and coming from the parking lot (as well as the train fares going and coming). At some point, if the value of your time is high enough, you can lose money by getting cheaper parking. I suspect that in equilibrium for the average user of a parking lot in Manhattan, all parking costs the same. If you are average, simply choose a lot a random.
 

Earthmover

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Originally Posted by jpeirpont
I am going a road trip, leaving from Hartford CT and stopping in Philly and D.C for a couple days each. On my way back to CT I want to go to NY. I usually park in Stamford and take the train to NYC, since this isn't possible, I'd like to find a place in NY to park. Somewhere convenient to Manhattan, and free or very cheap. Anyone know of any good spots?

If you are coming in over the weekend, you can just wander manhattan itself for parking, either on Thursday or Friday to go until the weekend is over. If you're just coming in, say, Saturday night until end of Sunday, it's the easiest, as you can park on any metered spot for free. Parking can be an adventure, but there are certain times when it's better to find parking. This applies mostly to Upper West Side, since that's where I live (I find parking between Amsterdam and Central Park West, from about 72nd street up to 96th - it's a fairly central area with lots of subways). The streets are free, while the Avenues are metered; only use meters on Sundays when they are free.

Best times to find spots are, in order of easiest to hardest:

1. The exact hour when Alternate Side Parking restrictions end. On every street, there's a sign for no parking for a 1.5 hour window twice a week. Usually, one side of the street has Monday/Thursday and the other side has Tuesday/Friday in my area, with the times being 9:30-11am or 11am-12:30pm.

2. Friday and Saturday nights, after about 11pm, when the Bridge and Tunnel Crowd who drove in starts to leave for Jersey.

3. Weekdays between 5pm to about 6:30pm, as people leave after work-ish. Look at the signs and see which side of the street lets you park longer. This is key.

... other times, good luck. If you roam around for 30min to 1 hour, you can usually find something. But it's going to be an adventure. Just remember, (1) if it's too good to be true, it is, (2) always ask anyone near a car whether they will be leaving, (3) take the first opportunity that you see, even if it means you break a minor traffic law (for example, traveling backwards 30 feet to get back to the spot on a one-way street) or temporarily block traffic, although you should be smart about it.

If you want to go more hardcore, you can find spots in the East Village and Lower East Side fairly easily on weekend nights/early mornings and if you roam around enough, especially in the streets in between alphabet avenues. I've heard others say Gramercy and Murray Hill can have some decent spots, but avoid trying to park in the West Village/Chelsea at all costs, as that is pure madness.

Lastly, if you are at all unsure whether it's a legal spot, don't do it. It's too expensive as risks go, and you're better off putting it in a garage.
 

SoCal2NYC

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11th Ave.
 

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