Declaring a snow emergency:
The City will make a determination on whether a snow emergency will be declared. When declared, that information is given to the TV, radio stations, posted on the web and on the municipal cable channel (22-CityView). Also available by calling 617-349-4700. Every effort is made to give residents reasonable notice.
The City will send Snow Emergency notification out via Code Red. Code Red has information on all residential land lines in the City. Residents and people who work in the City can sign up to receive Code Red announcements to their cell phone, and/or via text or email or receive calls to their work number (either for an office phone in the City or a resident's work phone elsewhere). Code Red information or ability to sign up is available at code red.
When a snow emergency is declared, parking is restricted on certain streets in the City. Vehicles parked on those streets will be tagged and towed.
There are 82 streets in the City, which have snow emergency parking restrictions. Some streets are restricted on one side only and some on both sides.
When a snow emergency is declared all streets signed "no parking" during a snow emergency will be ticketed and towed. The City's tow priorities will be based on the access needs, especially for emergency vehicles, and the type and duration of the storm. Do not park on the streets restricted throughout the duration of a declared snow emergency.
There are several streets in the City which handle a lot of traffic but are so narrow that when snow banks become high, parking can block the travel lane. The City installed a new type of sign in 2012 on the following streets: Bigelow Street, Inman Street, Pearl Street, & Oxford Street.
The sign folds in the middle. When it is closed no message is shown. When the City has determined that the street can no longer accommodate 2 sided parking and keep the travel lane open, the signs are open to display the message "Tow Zone, No Parking until Further Notice, Narrow Roadway." The most likely use of these signs would be when a snow emergency parking ban is being lifted citywide but one of these streets cannot allow the lifting of the parking ban. At those times the sign will be opened by TP&T to display the message and parking will remain restricted until the parking restriction can be safely lifted.
Available Off-Street Parking during Declared Snow Emergencies:
Residents are responsible for moving their cars off the streets signed no parking during a declared snow emergency. Finding parking can be difficult. There are five parking facilities that provide free parking when the declared snow emergency is in effect.
If a snow emergency has been announced that will take effect overnight, after 6 p.m. and before 7 a.m.; these parking facilities will be free starting at 6 p.m., rather than at the start of the snow emergency. This program is available to residents only; to use the free parking, your vehicle must have a resident permit.
- Galleria Mall. Enter on Cambridgeside place, Between P.F Chang’s and Cheesecake Factory Entrance. Residents of Cambridge can park for free in the Cambridgeside Galleria Garage when the declared snow emergency is in effect until 2 hours after it is lifted.
- First Street Garage. Enter on Spring Street. Parking is free if you have a Cambridge resident parking permit from the time when the declared snow emergency is in effect until 2 hours after it is lifted.
- Green Street Garage, Central Square. Parking is free if you have a Cambridge resident parking permit from the time when the declared snow emergency is in effect until 2 hours after it is lifted.
- 52 Oxford Garage. This is a Harvard owned and operated garage. When a Snow Emergency is declared it is open to City residents with a resident parking permit on a space available basis for no fee from the time when the declared snow emergency is in effect until one hour after the snow emergency is lifted. Space is limited, and availability is on a first-come, first-served basis. The University reserves the right to cease admittance due to capacity limitations and operation issues
- 65 Waverly Street. This is an MIT owned surfact lot at the corner of Sidney, Waverly and Erie adjacent to Fort Washington Park. Parking is free with a resident permit from the start of the snow emergency until 2 hours after it as been lifted.