If you’ve ever been to New York, you’re likely well aware of the fact that very few people own cars. In fact, New York residents have historically been known as a demographic that is highly unlikely to ever purchase a vehicle.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, public transportation is not as viable as it used to be. This has had a direct effect on both car ownership and city parking.

Let’s explore what you need to know about parking in New York today.

So, How Has It Affected Car Ownership?

According to recent studies about car ownership in the state of New York has increased approximately 40% since the COVID-19 outbreak. This drastic spike in car sales is a direct result of the lingering fear that surrounds the use of public transit.

Since the coronavirus has been proven to be so virulent, even a short train ride while others are present could put you at risk of contracting the disease.

Additionally, many transit systems now impose increased regulations that aim to reduce the spread of the virus.

For example, buses and trains may cease operation earlier than normal. There may also be imposed limits on the total number of passengers during a single trip.

As you might expect, it’s no longer as easy or efficient to use public transportation. Combined with the above safety concerns, it’s not difficult to see why many people would prefer to drive their own vehicles instead.

What About Parking?

When more people own vehicles, parking spaces disappear far more quickly than normal. This can make even basic scenarios such as going to the store a difficult process.

But, the increase in car ownership isn’t the only factor that contributes to a lack of available parking.

The expansion of outdoor dining in order to accommodate COVID-19 regulations has also made an impact. More specifically, this factor alone has resulted in the elimination of thousands of parking spots.

To make matters worse, some areas have even initiated additional ‘no standing at any time’ regulations in certain areas. This means that certain segments of particular streets must remain clear at all times, further impacting the total number of available parking spaces.

Put simply, the lack of available parking has been a significant obstacle that most New Yorkers have been struggling to overcome.

How Can I Make Finding a Parking Space Easier?

Although it might seem impossible to find a parking spot in New York, there are steps that you can take in order to help you do so. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll need to be extra vigilant during your search.

Let’s explore a few of the most notable options.

Search Earlier Than You Usually Would

Perhaps the best advice we can give you is to search for your parking spot well before you need it. It’s always been tough to just pull up to park 10 or 15 minutes before your dinner reservations and still make it on time.

As a result, it’s highly recommended to search for a spot at least an hour or two before you plan to park there. Although this can come with plenty of inconveniences, many people would prefer to spend extra time in the city than deal with the risks of using public transportation. And once you find your choice spot, paying for parking couldn’t be any easier. All you have to do is open your ParkMobile or ParkNYC apps, or just visit parkmobile.io and then enter the zone number found on the sign. From there it’s just a matter of entering in your correct license plate, length of time you’d like to park and your payment method. That’s it…you’re parking is now paid for.

Reserve a Spot

The ability to reserve a parking spot has proven to be highly beneficial during the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can use a mobile app to check for available parking spaces and schedule a spot for a particular time.

All you’ll need to do is browse the available parking options for that timeframe and then pay online. Afterward, you can arrive at your reserved spot at the beginning of your reservation.

Since the clock will begin ticking as soon as your reserved time starts, it’s best to give yourself plenty of time to arrive. Since the increase in car ownership has also adversely impacted New York traffic, you’ll need to ensure that you can take advantage of the duration that you paid for.

It’s also important to move your car as soon as your reservation is over, as you will be considered illegally parked even one minute after your reservation ends.

Be Willing to Park in Other Areas

Sometimes, you won’t be able to find a spot in the area you’re looking for no matter what you do. But, this doesn’t mean that all hope is lost.

If you’re willing to park in unconventional locations, you could still navigate the city effectively. This can include neighborhoods, public parks, etc.

It greatly helps to have a secondary form of transportation, such as a bicycle. This makes parking outside of the city far less of an issue because you can simply ride your bike to your destination. Of course, you should always secure your secondary form of transportation appropriately.

You should also be wary of any parking signs, especially those that designate particular parking spots. The last thing you want to do is park your vehicle in a neighborhood’s residential spot and prevent somebody from parking in front of their home.

The New Situation for Parking in New York Can Seem Complicated

But, it doesn’t have to be. The above info will ensure that you’re able to handle parking in New York as seamlessly as possible.

Visit the ParkMobile Tips and Demos page to learn more about how ParkMobile works.