Parking, New York City
You would have to be pretty crazy to bring a car into the city, I would probably say that 90% of the traffic on the roads is delivery traffic, buses and yellow cabs and that 90% takes up about 300% of the available road volume - yes my arithmetic IS correct, 300% is not a typo!!
If you actually do decide to drive into the city and actually manage to get to where you want to go, then your next problem is parking - check out the website below - for an evening out around the Theatre District in Manhattan you could be paying upwards of $30.
Well it's your choice!!
It is not advisable to use a car while visiting NYC for several reasons, but if you have no other choice, doing research beforehand on iconparking.com can be a big help. This company has dozens of parking buildings all over Manhattan and you can pick a certain section of the city and the times you'll be there and you can see a map of the area with the price charged at each respective spot. Within a few blocks there can be as much as $15-20 difference!
We drove down from Toronto, and didn't want to pay $55 US per day for hotel parking in manhattan.
We parked just across the dtreet from Newark Airport on US 1 - 9 at Mr B's Parking. The entire week cost us $60. They provide a shuttle to the airport where you can get a flat rate cab ride into the city. Believe me, I am very thankful that we did not have to navigate the insane Holland tunnel traffic - and that was on a Sunday!
Even with the two cab rides in and out of the city, we saved $200 US with very little inconvenience.
The car was in a secure lot and the people there were very nice.
Parking can run around $45 for 24 hours, to say nothing of what it's like to drive in this kind of traffic. I'd recommend you avoid driving. My favorite way to go is to take the train - Amtrak to Penn Station, then the subway to the Times Square area. If you fly in, LaGuardia is closer to Manhatten and the cabfare from LaGuardia is around $30...from JFK it's about $10 more.
Although this isn't a transportation tip I have posted it here for easy access of information for those seeking to leave NYC for a short time while leaving their car or a rental behind.
There are many "long term" parking facilities in the airports and you have to really shop around for the best available rate and Smart Park is an excellent choice while departing out of JFK.
Recently while traveling on a super short trip out of NYC I decided to drive myself to the airport for a super early flight which would have me coming home the next morning. Smart Park was super cheap (I would have had to pay about $25 each way for a taxi), and very convenient. The best part is that they provide a free shuttle to your terminal and will also pick you up upon your return, all you have to do is call them.
I called and made a reservation since my flight was very early in the morning and left my car for a period of about 25 hours.
The price is quoted on a 24 hour period and you have a few hours grace period from the time you drop it til you pick it up, so no extra fee for the extra hour or two past the 24 hour period.
Fee is $14 plus tax (about $15) and the grace period is 5 hours, not bad!! *** Great news, their rates have been lowered as of 2009 you will pay $13.25 per day taxes included******
The owner and staff are very friendly and they even have your car on and ready to go by the time you are dropped off by the shuttle.
Chcek out their website or call for any specials or update on the rate.
Be careful where you park. One time we used a small place where the cars are piled high. They asked when we would be back, and when we came back 2 hours early it was a big problem to get the car out. They had to move a lot of cars, it took an hour and they were very rude about it (as only New Yorkers can)
Here is when parking becomes free in the entertainment district:
Times Square (around 47th Street on the West Side) at 7:00 pm
Midtown (around 55th Street) at 6:00 pm
The key is to get there ten or fifteen minutes before this time and wait until the time on the sign. Lock your car using The Club, or drive an old clunker like we do.
Also, alternate side of the street parking means that in many parts of the city one side of the street will need to be cleared for a couple hours (such as 11 to 1) M, W, F or Tu, Th, Sa. This varies all over the city but it is possible to learn the ropes if you look around. But some days they cancel this Alternate Side of the Street Parking, so it won't work. Again, show up a little early.
Parking in New York is expensive so arrange for long term parking at your hotel. If possible park outside of town and take public transportation into the city. This can prove a cheaper option.
You won't need a car in New York City. Parking is impossible and the public transporation is great. Wear comfortable shoes and walk to really experience the best the city has to offer.
In this picture it was the first time I seen cars parked on top of each other. Parking is obviously an issue in this city, its hard to find a place. I found this web site that looks very useful and I now see that NYC parking is also pretty expensive.
Apparently with these types of parking lots it is important you know how long your going to be. If your at the top of this pile and come back early, you can apparently be assured some New York attitude and you probably don't want to go there.
It is an absolute nightmare to find a cheap parking place!! We paid $20 for like, 2 hours, even less than that infact!! But it had to be done as I was travelling with very young children, and relatively elderly people, and also a person with a foot injury.
This particular parking was near Pier 17 shopping mall.
My advice is to avoid parking if you can, and take the subway, as you save so much money on parking and toll stations, as well as the fact that you get to see a New York attraction!!
Parking in Manhattan can be very, very expensive. We spent $38.00 for 24 hours at East 48th Street Corp (141 E 48th St, 212-593-3714). However, we also discovered that parking is free in many neighborhoods on Sundays, so we parked along the street for our last day in New York City, in the vicinity of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Recommend you look for parking outside of the city (except for Sunday) and take the subway in to town.
Driving in NYC isn't that bad. The only thing to worry about is parking. If you are driving to NYC, here is my recommendation - park your car in a garage and leave it there. Take public transportation. Parking will cost you around $25 - $40 per day to leave it somewhere.
We drive to NYC frequently, that's pretty much the only way we travel into NYC. Parking can be quite confusing.
READ THOSE PARKING SIGNS VERY CAREFULLY BECAUSE THEY CAN BE VERY MISLEADING AND IF YOU'RE WRONG, YOU'RE LOOKING AT A $100+ PARKING TICKET!!! Start with the signs at the top of the pole and work your way down. READ EACH SIGN!!
Sundays are the easiest days to park since many places that are illegal are legal on Sunday. Meters can range from 25 cents for every 10 minutes to 25 cents per half hour (unusual), the key here is make sure you have a lot of quarters. Meter feeding (if the meter is timed up to a certain time, going back and putting more quarters in) is technically illegaly but I've never heard of anyone getting a ticket for it.
Parking garages offer early morning discounts, arrive between 5AM-10AM and park until 5PM-7PM and pay as little as $9.00 for all-day parking. There are a few great parking garages on 58th Street between 9th and Broadway.
If you have to drive, make sure that you avoid the rush hour times.. the tunnels and bridges can really get backed up. Also, be ready to pay out some money to park.
The parking alot on 47th street across from the Portland Square Hotel. It only cost $295 per month or $9 per hour to park.