Greater City Providence

Overnight Parking coming to the West Side in August

Update 06/29: The Parking Administrator will review the objection forms. If any street or section of street has 66 2/3% or more objectors, that street will be removed.

A final mailing will then go out to all residences that remain in the permit area, letting them know that the program will begin on X date, and a reminder of how to get their permits, etc.

After much consternation, the civilized world arrives on the West Side. Yes, starting in August, if you acquire a permit, you may park your car on the streets overnight in certain areas. Be prepared for the state to slide into the ocean shortly after.

Information on the program available here. FAQ:

Q. How does the program work?
A. If you live on a street that is included in the program, and your car is registered with the RI DMV at that address, you are eligible. A window sticker will be provided as evidence of registration, and you will be permitted to leave your registered car overnight on a street within the pilot area. Areas designated for such use are marked by signs reading “NO PARKING 11:00 PM TO 6:00 AM EXCEPT BY RESIDENT PERMIT.” Naturally, you will need to park your car in a space that is otherwise legal (for example, you cannot park in front of a fire hydrant or within 25 feet of a corner). When a parking ban (such as a snow emergency) is declared, you must remove your car from the street for the duration of the ban.

Q. How many cars can be registered for overnight parking?
A. Up to 2 per household. Any more than that must be parked off-street overnight.

Q: If I have two vehicles, do I have to apply individually for a permit for each vehicle?
A: Yes. Separate applications for each vehicle are required, but you need not come in person. They may be submitted at the same time, but the permits will be issued for the vehicles – not for the owner.

Q: If my spouse has a vehicle and I have a vehicle, do each of us have to apply for a permit for each individual vehicle?
A: You do not need to personally apply for a permit, but remember that the permit is issued for a specific vehicle based on the residency of a specific owner. Accordingly, each vehicle requires an individual permit.

Q: I have two roommates, both of whom have resident permits. Am I eligible to receive a permit too?
A: No. Only two permits per household may be issued. Arrangements must be made within households to allocate the resident permits available.

Q. What is the cost?
A. The cost to register is $25.00 per car. Any unpaid tickets issued by the Providence Police and the car’s vehicle (excise) tax must be paid in order to obtain a permit for your car.

Q. How do I apply?
A. Simply come to Providence Municipal Court with a valid (original, no photocopies) RI registration that shows the address of a street in the pilot parking area. Municipal Court is located on the first floor of the City of Providence Public Safety Complex, 325 Washington Street, located between Dean Street and I-95 Service Road #7. Applications can be made between 8:30am and 4:00pm, Monday through Friday.

Q. Must I come in person?
A. No. However, each permit is valid only for the car matching the registration presented. Remember, only 2 are allowed per household.

Contact Info:
Web Site:
Parking Administrator: Ernest Carlucci
Phone: 401-467-7950

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.


  • What happens to residents’ cars during the daytime? Does a permit allow one immunity from 3-hour-parking-only signs during the day, or is it a just-at-night thing? If the latter, what do you do if you go on a trip for a few days? And what happens if you’ve got friends driving over for a gathering that lets out at, say, midnight? Why is it that the current 3am cutoff for nonresident parking has been changed?

  • I am going to assume the boundaries appear “odd” because they are the boundaries of the Armory District/West Broadway neighborhood. I would guess that it has more to do with WBNA and residents advocating for overnight on street parking rather than a plan to exclude minorities.

  • The boundaries were determined by a mix of district/ward areas, signatures gathered by each street, and areas the residents & WBNA worked on getting. Some council members were not convinced of the program and some areas people did not get signatures. When the signatures were submitted the area was outlined from Broadway – cranston st from messer to close to downtown. That’s what the WBNA went for (and did not expect to fully get due to the sheer size of the area) and was able to get. Again, this was largely dictated with the signatures that were gathered for streets after a meeting that P. Ward held at the WBNA. This was a 100% resident driven program.

    I assure you that there was nothing sinister about excluding any areas. I know since i am a resident who was involved in getting signatures, meeting council persons, and attending meetings.

    I see this as a HUGE HUGE win due to the sheer size of the pilot program area. The West Side comes through big time for the city on this one!

  • @James, I didn’t mean to imply that there is anything sinister in the drawing of the parking district. I was unaware of petition process employed by the WBNA to get this initiative passed. In search of an explanation of strange boundary, I overlaid two maps.

    While the results may not speak to the immediate cause of this boundary (which is, as you say, a petition), I think they point to another issue: which citizens are able to work within bureaucracies to pass measures in their favor. I can only hope that this constituiency recognizes its abilities and can be as altruistic as it is successful in passing civic initiatives.

  •’re using census data that is almost 10 years old. I don’t know how accurate it is any more.

    2. WBNA works for all its constituents and my experience has been that they are far more multicultural (on the board level as well as on the programing level) than any other “neighborhood association” in Providence. Some may believe that WBNA sticks its nose where it doesn’t belong (I will usually disagree) but WBNA is made up of the residents of that community–all colors, nationalities and income levels.

    3. The first pilot program for overnight on street parking was in Washington Park. You might do an overlay map of that neighborhood, which if memory serves is represented by an hispanic council person and is largely hispanic. But again, if you’re using data from 9 years ago, that might not be what you’re seeing. In this real estate market, we’re seeing some vast sweeping changes in demographics in neighborhoods.

    I know you’re backing away from the “middle class gets all the good stuff” position and certainly some will disagree with me but the WBNA is a wholly different animal from, say, FPCC or CHNA or SNA or even ONA.

  • Daniel:
    Good questions, I suggest contacting the Parking Administrator with your concerns (contact info in the original post).

    One thought I had as the street sweeper made it’s annual trip down my street last night was, what about street sweeping. The city will tell you that street sweeping is done regularly, evidence suggests that on my little street it is solely an annual occurrence. In most cities, cars would need to move on street sweeping days, but Providence does not seem to have regular street sweeping days.

  • Jen, I don’t think the census data is very accurate anymore either. However, I don’t think this info is readily available from more current sources (even though the Census Bureau updates its data intra-census by way of polling and statistical projection). But really, in which direction do you think the Census data will trend in 2010?

    Thanks for the discussion!

  • Honestly, Andrew I don’t know. I think I would have said that 5 years ago there were far more hispanic neighbors in Federal Hill and Armory, but the foreclosure crisis hit that community very hard, and many of those homes have turned over and it is possible the market has made it more affordable for young urban professionals to buy in the neighborhood again.

    I know down here in VA, the county I live in was hit very hard by foreclosures and communities which had become hispanic enclaves are reverting to young white buyers with stellar credit, a huge cash downpayment and a parent to cosign because they are no longer priced out of the market. It is a weird, upsidedown time, that is for sure.

    i know that when I left providence a year and a half ago, it would have been hard for me to buy a house, but i could probably come back and put three houses (with no plumbing) on a credit card. With crisis there is opportunity, right?

  • Who cares about the census data? All you need to do is have some direct familiarity with the neighborhood and you can see which are largely Hispanic and which are not. The foreclosure crisis is irrelevant. Sure Hispanics are being foreclosed upon, but upon being repurchased for cheap, the new owner just refills it with interested tenants. Those are usually Hispanics as well.

  • Aug 3rd….and nobody at the police station seems to know about when the pilot program is supposed to take effect….
    hope we get that letter soon!

  • Councilman Lombardi posted on Facebook that parking signs should be going up in the next week or two. Then said something smaquish about the Executive branch.

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