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What to do with your car when it snows

Last updated: 11/30/17

What to do with your car when it snows

When you have a car in Boston, you need to be aware of what to do before, during, and after a snow snowstorm.

Still have questions? Contact:
BOS:311
311
1 City Hall Square
Boston, MA 02201
United States

During a snow emergency

After we announce a snow emergency, we need to keep main roads clear for plows and emergency vehicles. If you’re parked on one of these main roads during a snow emergency, we will ticket and tow your car.

Parking restrictions

How do you know if you can’t park on a street during a snow emergency? Check the signs posted on the street.

parking restrictions map

Discounted garages

Some garages offer discounts to Boston residents with a resident parking sticker. Discounted parking starts two hours before we declare a snow emergency, and ends two hours after we lift the emergency.

Our snow emergency parking page has a list of garages, by neighborhood, that offer discounted parking.

Space savers

Did you use a trash can, cone, or some other object to save your parking space on the street? Here's what you need to know:

  • You can only use a space saver when the City declares a snow emergency.
  • You have 48 hours to use a space saver after we end an emergency. After that, you must remove it from the street.

Please keep in mind, space savers are banned in the South End.

If there's snow on the streets

Please park at least 20 feet away from intersections and no more than one foot from the curb. This helps keep the streets open for plows and emergency vehicles.

Don’t use your vehicle to block:
  • sidewalks
  • fire hydrants
  • ramps
  • driveways, or
  • the street.

For your safety, make sure to clear all snow at least one foot around your muffler before starting your engine. Blocked mufflers can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

Winter driving tips

After snowfall

Be extra careful driving during and after snowfall. Don't drive during severe storms or during snow emergencies.

Broken traffic lights

Treat traffic lights that aren’t working as stop signs and stay cautious at intersections.

Remove snow from your roof

Snow falling off the roof of your car or truck while you're driving can create dangerous hazards for other drivers on the road.

Snowbanks

When snowbanks are high, take an extra moment to check for pedestrians and oncoming cars. Be especially careful near school bus stops.