Overnight Parking–Providence City Council

The Dreaded Orange Tag

From all the fuss on the internets I thought there would be a crowd at City Hall where a plan for citywide resident permit parking was on the agenda.

I went to a very crowded and contentious meeting several years ago where the Summit Neighborhood Association had scores of people lined up to oppose resident overnight parking. I had all my arguments ready this time, but there was no one to argue with.

About fifteen members of the public were there, several of us took the signs handed out by a supporter. Since we were not allowed to speak, we held them up.

For two hours.

I did not see any parking opponents, for what that’s worth.
The acoustics were terrible and I heard very little of what the City Council members said, although the chairman kept pointing his finger at the man who was describing how the plan would work.  It was kind of like watching a silent movie without captions.

I had a lot of time to think–approximately 120 minutes, but who’s counting?

One intense internet brushfire going today concerned the $100 fee for the proposed permit. A new tax. How dare they?

But it’s actually a money saver, here’s why–

If you have a space on your property to park your car, you don’t need to buy a permit. Just keep on parking your car in the same place.

If you don’t have a space and are renting, and you pay less than $10 a month, that’s awesome. What a good deal. Don’t buy a permit. Keep on renting.

If your parking is not secure and convenient, you are probably paying much more than $100 a year, and getting the occasional parking ticket as well. You’ll save money with a permit.

I’m not unbiased. My house was built in 1918 and it was assumed you’d just hop on the trolley if you needed to go anywhere. Maybe you could park your machine on the street if you could afford one.

Those days are gone, but the houses remain. More meetings are planned.

21 thoughts on “Overnight Parking–Providence City Council

  1. I always disliked having a car when I lived in NYC in the 60’s and early 70’s-actually I never owned one until I got out of the service in 1971,and that was a 1960 Ford Comet my father in law gave us because it was just sitting in a garage-he was still a merchant seaman as was my brother in law,so they couldn’t do much driving.
    The Comet SUCKED as a car.
    Anyway,I much preferred the rapid transit system-if you wanted to go out and get loaded,no big deal(I once passed out drunk on the subway and made three trips between the Bronx and Brooklyn before I woke up.Still had my wallet too.)The trains ran all day and night and you didn’t have robocops with submachine guns all over the place.Sometimes you’d see a bored looking transit cop on the train.
    Of course,NYC wasn’t the disgusting Lego-looking rip off kingdom

  2. it is today.Everything is plasticized,and Times Square is like Disney World-it used to be seedy and somewhat dangerous,but never boring.
    I like the idea of overnight parking for residents-even if you have a place off street if you have visitors they can use your property and you can use the curb.
    I visit Pittsburgh now and then and they don’t even have parking bans when it snows.

  3. I do not believe there should be any overnight parking allowed on our small East Side Providence streets, they are too narrrow and there are already documented problems with fire & rescue getting thru now let alone delivery trucks and what about a disaster of a situation with the snow plows, Hey its ok elsewhere if the streets are large enough but here on the East Side there should be No overnight parking, I know I live here, thank you, angelo aiello.

    1. thanks for your comment, Angelo.
      I live on the East Side too. There are some streets that are ‘no parking’ on one side, probably for the reasons you state. The presenter said that current ‘no parking’ zones will not change.
      Fire and rescue have to respond in the day when there’s parked cars and traffic, so if a street is not safe at rush hour it’s not safe, and needs to be fixed.
      I know there’s a snow plan, don’t know the details.
      My stretch of Hope Street has nice, well-marked parking lanes, that are full of cars in the day, when bikers have to swerve around them– but empty at night. I get a ticket if I don’t wake up to move my car. My situation isn’t too bad, because I rent a space from a really nice and reasonable neighbor, but see a lot of front yards paved to fit a couple of cars instead of being a green space.

  4. One concern I have is about when the overnight parking for approved sticker-bearing cars begins. In Newport, for example, resident parking starts at 6 pm. Anyone else on who does not have a resident parking sticker is ticketed starting at 6 pm, and given my experience there this summer, it seems little elves jump out from behind bushes at 6:01 and start generating tickets with their little printer machines. Nancy, do you know how this will impact visitors who are parking on the street to go to restaurants or events in the city?

    1. I think the tickets are for parking between 2 and 5am. The presenter last night said that ‘artery’ roads like Broad St. and Atwells will not allow overnight parking. He also said that the streets that are currently ‘no parking’ will not change.
      The streets I saw that are on the pilot program, in the West End, are little residential side streets– no bars or restaurants w/i parking distance.
      I really wish the hearing had been more friendly to the public, you really had to strain to hear anything they said.

    2. I have the same concerns also Kiersten, how about me parking in front of my own house as I have for many years are you telling me that at 6p.m. I am going to get ticketed for parking in front of my own house?? that makes no sense and I am not paying for any passes , we already pay some of the highest taxes in the entire country, and we just got another tax increase this year , when is enough enough!!! do they just want more people to move out of the City of Providence, angelo aiello..

      1. no one is talking about ticketing at 6pm. the proposal is to not ticket between 2 and 5am if the person who lives there has a permit.
        the law now is that you get whacked with a ticket if you park overnight.
        people can disagree, but we should look at the actual law first.
        I’ll see if I can find it online. the presenter had a power point up, but I didn’t get a copy.
        There will be more hearings, and people will have a chance to ask questions and express their opinions.

      2. I don’t mean to be snippy. If there’s any proposal to increase ticketing for overtime parking I’ll stand with you.

  5. I’m planning to move to Providence and have to say that the parking rules make the city unfriendly. We currently live in a city with many narrow streets and somehow police and fire manage to get through. If the restrictions were only in place during winter months to accommodate snow plows, that would make sense, but it seems like the current policy benefits the people that rent out spaces and no one else.

    It’s a shame to drive through the east side and see buildings that clearly once had beautiful courtyards or front gardens that were paved over to create parking. This was a silly rule. If only they would direct the money from parking permits toward supporting pub transport, so residents would have reasonable alternatives.

    1. Sad to say,Providence USED to ahve great public transport-streetcars and then trackless trolleys.All gone now.

    2. Someone at the hearing said that in the 70’s people drove smaller cars and that driveways that used to be able to hold 3 cars can now only hold 2. I think that public transit would alleviate some of the congestion, if we stop cutting and really invest in it.
      The pilot program in some of the most congested areas seems to be working. I hope we give it a try for the whole city.

  6. I was also at the hearing and glad to see you have created some press about the event, ninjanurse. Unfortunately we also struggled a great deal to hear, but my general impression was that it the issue seems to be snagged on logistics (i.e., not yet having a formal map of what streets will remain no parking, how the rules will impact areas that have large student/transient populations, whether to use stickers vs. a digital permit). I do want to echo Nancy’s impression that the legislation change is ONLY to remove the ticketing between the hours of 2-5am for folks who have permits. So for those of you who have a parking situation that works for you now, it will not change anything. Please keep us posted here about any future opportunities to organize around the issue, ninjanurse! I understand, but am sad to hear people comment on the policy making Providence unfriendly. It’s a wonderful city with an antiquated, unfriendly parking policy!

    1. Weeelll .. I should say the parking policy has also dissuaded my family from adding another car to the household, which is a good thing. :] We might have bought one despite the annual car tax/fee thingy, but limited parking was the dealbreaker.

      But seriously: when hunting for apts. we restricted our search to places that included at least one space in the lease, knowing we were bringing at least one car with us. Most of the listings we saw included a space but still.

  7. I live in the West End, the neighborhood which has the provisional test version.

    Really, I have noticed no difference at all in the crowdedness of the streets….

    1. Hello West End resident, if there is no difference in the crowdedness of the streets in the West End then let them park all over the streets there overnight, The fact is the West end streets are much wider than the streets on the East Side and that is exactly why there should be no overnight parking on the small East side streets. have a good evening….

      1. not that I’ve seen. I drive all over the Armory District and West End to visit patients and those side streets are short, narrow and have traffic calming that makes them even narrower. All that area was built before the car.

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