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Parking Rules

Parking rules are posted on signs along the streets where you can park. Rules may differ from street to street, and many streets are one-way, so please pay attention!

Hours: Generally, you must pay to park at a meter from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM, Monday through Saturday. (Note the extension from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM). There are some exceptions, so please read the signs. Before 8:00 AM, and after 9:00 PM, you may park in those spaces for FREE. Please note: overnight on-street parking is not allowed! You may not park on the street between 2:00 AM and 5:00 AM.

Most time limits are 2 hours, 3 hours and 4 hours, but some long term parking (10 hours) exists in limited supply on the following streets:

  • Canal Street
  • Broadway (Downtown)
  • Gaspee Street
  • Greenman Lane
  • Fountain Street (Across from Providence Public Library)
  • Friendship Street (West of Chestnut)
  • Clifford Street (West of Chestnut)
  • South Main Street (from Wickenden to James Street
  • South Water Street

Payment: 12 minutes of parking costs $.25, which translates to $1.25 per hour. Both single space and multi-space meters accept nickels, dimes, quarters and dollar coins, as well as credit cards (Visa, Mastercard and Discover). Dollar bills are not accepted.

When you pay by credit card, you’ll be automatically charged for the meter’s full time limit, which is typically 2 hours. To use the pay-by-phone system, register for free at Once your account has been activated, you can pay with your registered mobile phone, pay online, or pay by calling 1-877-727-5717. Each time you pay by phone, you’ll be charged a 35 cent transaction fee. For more information, visit the city’s website.

Multi-space Meters: On most downtown streets, you’ll find single and dual-head meters. The city has also installed multi-space meters in several locations including Weybosset Street, Empire Street and Dorrance Street. The multi-space meters look like small vending machines and serve up to 8 spaces. You’ll notice special signs identifying these spots!

After you park, purchase the amount of time you’ll need at the multi-space meter, using either coins or credit cards. The machine will print you a receipt with 2 parts that let you know when your time expires. Display the large part of the receipt inside your car, on the dashboard. (You may keep the smaller part of the receipt as a reminder).  The receipt must be visible to parking enforcement personnel, who will check your dashboard! Once your time expires, you must leave the parking spot.

Malfunctioning Meters: To report a problematic meter, call the City Parking Administrator in the Department of Traffic & Engineering at (401)781-4045. Please specify the meter location and number!