Parking Rules

Metered parking is essential in a health business district to promote turnover. Additional benefits of the pay and display parking system include:

  • Less equipment (one pay station for several cars replaces the system of one meter pole for every car).
  • Receipts are portable, allowing patrons to take their remaining time with them to a different location (remaining time must be used on the same date listed on the receipt).
  • New pay station machines accept credit cards in addition to coins for added convenience.
  • Receipts can be used to contest parking citations and document business expenses.
  • Pay stations feature self-monitoring, and automatic notification of equipment problems.
  • Reduce equipment maintenance costs.
  • Revenue is generated for the city.

The hourly on-street parking rate is determined solely by the Syracuse Common Council. Rates are uniform throughout the entire city.

How does odd/even parking work?

Odd/even parking exists to allow snowplows to clear the entire width of city streets from curb to curb during winter months. By switching the side on which cars are parked from day to day using this system, plows are able to reach areas previously blocked by parked cars. During summer months, odd/even parking allows for the operation of street cleaning crews. Odd/even parking is used most often in residential areas.

It is important that those using on-street parking adhere to odd/even parking rules to allow for cars, emergency vehicles, street cleaning crews, and snowplows to pass through. Those who violate these guidelines may be ticketed or towed by the Syracuse Police Department.

Odd/even parking dictates that from 6 p.m. on an odd day to 6 p.m. on an even day, cars may park on the odd addressed side of the street. At 6 p.m., vehicle owners must switch the side of the street on which their car is parked to the even side. For example, on June 16, cars should begin the day parked on the odd side of the street. At 6 p.m. that evening, cars should move to the even marked side of the street.

There are some exceptions to this rule, sometimes referred to as "fool's days". These are instances at the end of some months in which an odd day is immediately followed by another odd day. Throughout the year, these fool's days fall on January 1, February 1, April 1, June 1, August 1, September 1, and November 1. On leap years, March 1 is also a fool's day.

How do I use the Pay and Display parking system?

Pay and Display pay stations are installed throughout the city of Syracuse, in all metered business districts. Metered parking times are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pay stations accept credit cards, dollar coins, quarters, dimes, and nickels. (Quarter = 7 minutes, Dime = 3 minutes, Nickel = 1 minute)

To use a pay and display machine, insert money and press the blue button to select the desired amount of time for parking. Then, press the green button to print a receipt. Display the receipt face up on the driver's side dashboard of your vehicle. You can cancel the transaction before the receipt is printed by pressing the red button labeled "cancel".

What is harboring?

Harboring is when a car occupies an on street parking space for longer than the legal allowance. Most metered spaces are limited to 2 hours, although there are some exceptions. Harboring poses a problem in business districts by preventing turnover of parking spaces, which would allow new users access to the district. After you are parked in any space for the maximum time limit, you must move out of that space. You cannot purchase more time and stay longer in the same space, and you may not move to the space next to it. Parking enforcement is used to discourage harboring. Anyone choosing to park for longer periods of time should secure off-street parking.

Is there ever free parking in metered spaces?

Parking in metered districts is free throughout the city after 6 p.m. and before 9 a.m. Additionally, there are several holidays on which parking is free for the entire day. These include:

  • New Year's Day
  • Martin Luther King Day
  • President's Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Veteran's Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

What should I do if a pay station is out of order?

Use the next nearest pay station and report the malfunctioning pay station to Cityline at 315-448-CITY (2489).

What are the benefits of reverse diagonal parking?

Reverse diagonal parking maximizes the number of spaces available in a streetscape, and can sometimes create a traffic calming effect by narrowing the width of the street. Reverse diagonal parking improves the sightline for drivers pulling out of spaces into traffic, creates a larger buffer between street traffic and pedestrians, and minimizes the possibility of "dooring" of bicyclists (when a car door opens unexpectedly, hitting a bicyclist). Additionally, when a reverse diagonally parked car door opens, it opens creating a blockade between passengers and street traffic, which increases safety, particularly for small children. Signs are posted with instructions for reverse diagonal parking.

Where is parking prohibited?

  • On the sidewalk, or between the sidewalk and the curb.
  • Blocking the entrance to a driveway.
  • On a crosswalk.
  • Within 10 feet of a fire hydrant.
  • On or under a bridge.
  • On any lawn, vegetated area, or bare ground, publicly or privately owned.
  • In the central business district between the hours of 12 a.m. and 7 a.m.

Vehicles in violation may be ticketed or towed at the owner's expense. To apply for a variance to create a parking area, contact the Board of Zoning Appeals at 315-448-8640. To report parking violations, call 315-442-5111.

How do I convert on-street parking from 2 hour metered, or odd/even? Vice versa?

You must have the written consent of all property owners on the street, and gain authorization by the City Transportation Planner for approval by the Department of Public Works. Any requests must clearly document the need for such a space.

How do I request 12 minute parcel pick-up spaces?

12 minute parcel pick-up spaces are not appropriate in all areas and are only necessary to support specific land-uses. In appropriate instances, there must be written approval from all property owners on the street and the authorization by the City Transportation Planner to gain legal approval by the Department of Public Works. No more than one parcel pick-up space is usually granted per block and any requests must clearly document need for such a space.