New Orleans – There is no denying it. Parking is the biggest issue for JazzFest festival goers. Regardless of the importance of safe parking locations, (there are only a few) residents are not allowed to utilize their own private property for festival day parking (i.e. cannot charge for parking on private property) and parking in a residential driveway or vacant lot is not an option. The only other option you may have: purchase a yearly residential parking permit. The cost may run about $55 ($40 just for an application fee; $15 for permit charge). If you are a visitor to the city, consider getting a 10-day permit for $5 dollars may be useful. This is only required if there is a street sign present, requiring a residential parking permit.
If you decide to apply for a residential parking permit, it is essential to bring a utility bill with you to City Hall in order to verify that you are a current resident of that address. No utility bill–even with other forms of proof of identity–no permit. If you choose to establish a Residential Parking Zone, see here.
Visitors looking to park near or within the French Quarter may want to investigate the Early Bird specials some parking lots offer. Prices typically fall in the $7 to $10 range and the driver must park by 9AM and leave the lot by 6PM, but cannot leave before 3PM. It is suggested to check each neighborhood for hourly parking rates, as they vary after 9AM in most areas. Also, if you purchase a ticket to park in the designated city paid parking (Park and Ride, Park and Shop lot areas), CAREFULLY CHECK THE TIMES BEFORE YOU PURCHASE A TICKET! If the lot “opens” at 7 am–DO NOT purchase your tickets at 6:59 am or earlier. The early bird does not always catch the worm in this case. You may end up fined, ticketed and booted.
Be careful if you decide to park on a street assuming validity of the street parking signs–you may risk a costly violation. The rules may only apply for the work week, or only the weekend. If ticket, the most common reasons are: $20 for parking at an expired meter; $40 for parking too close to a corner; $75 for parking on the “neutral ground”; $200 for parking on the French Quarter sidewalks; and $500 for parking boats or trailers in most areas of the city.
Frequent violations include the following:
- Obstructing fire lanes or driveways
- Being within 15 feet of a fire hydrant
- Being within 20 feet of corners or crosswalks
- Parking in bus zones, cab zones, loading areas
- Parking on a parade route within two hours of starting time
- Parking on major streets during rush hours (7-9AM; 4-6PM)
- Parking on street cleaning days (Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6AM-12PM)
- Parking at meters wrapped in bags during special events and broken meters
- Parking within 50 ft of a railroad crossing
- On-street parking for more than 24 hours
- Parking vehicles bigger than 22 feet in the Central Business District over night
- Parking on a narrow street without leaving 10 feet of roadway
- Parking over 18 inches from a curb
- Possessing 3 or more unpaid violations
Be sure NOT to:
- Park against the flow of traffic.
- Park within 3′ feet of a driveway; or across from a driveway–even your own.
- Park within 20′ feet of an intersection; a crosswalk; traffic signal (i.e. stop sign).
- Park within 15′ feet of a fire hydrant.
- Park block a sidewalk–even if it is your own driveway.
- Park no more than two (2) hours in a Residential Parking Permit Zone.
- Leave your valuables unattended–in your vehicle.
Other useful information
City of New Orleans Parking Division – Department of Public Works
1340 Perdido Street, RM. 8th Floor
New Orleans, LA 70112
Administrative Hearing Center (Adjudication of Parking Tickets)
1340 Poydras Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 658-8004, (504) 658-8005
N. Claiborne Ave Auto Pound – Parking Division-Auto Pound
400 N. Claiborne Ave
New Orleans, LA (504) 656-7450
Intersects Claiborne Ave North and Conti Street
City of New Orleans Booting: (504) 565-7451
City Towing Information: (504) 565-7451
City Parking Enforcement: (504) 658-8200
Be certain that ALL other parking rules and laws are in FULL effect. I advise that visitors utilize the local transit system (i.e. RTA bus and street cars), and walk the rest of the way. Which could be a very long walk. But whatever you decide, stay safe this JazzFest 2012.
Information on what is allowed on the Fair Grounds Race course can be found in our New Orleans ‘JazzFest 2012′ Food, Festival, and Fun article.
**Last updated 04/24/2012