Crazy Tips and Rules for Snow in Boston

Snow Piles
We are waiting for a blizzard you guys, in case you didn’t know :). The girls are super excited and I am looking forward to some real snow in Boston this winter. Although, I am definitely concerned for all the people who have to be out in it.

Boston gets CRAZY when it snows any significant amount. In our neighborhood, where there already is not enough street parking to go around, parking bans on the “major” roads (the street we live on!) during big snows can be difficult. Thankfully, having experienced this all before, we went ahead and parked our car YESTERDAY on a street where there will be no bans.

Which means, we made two trips to the grocery store yesterday and one this morning all by foot. It’s not at all unusual for us to walk to the grocery store. We just needed more groceries this time than could be carried in one trip and with the car already in a safe place we were afraid to move it!

In case you are curious, here are some TIPS AND RULES for snow in Boston…

  • As mentioned above, there are parking bans on major roads during snow emergencies. In the more densely populated neighborhoods of the city, parking becomes a problem. If there is a significant snow in the forecast, you can expect a parking ban. Park your car a day or two in advance on a street that isn’t affected by snow emergencies, if you can.
  • If a foot of snow falls, prepare to shovel 3 feet of snow off your car! When the snow plows come through, all of that snow on the road has to have someplace to go. Shoveling your car out after a major snow is a huge chore. Working together with friends or family can make this easier and more “enjoyable”.
  • You are required by the city to make your resident parking sticker on your car visible within 24 hours after the end of a storm. Remember what I said earlier about the plows pushing all the snow from the street onto the cars? Sometimes it can be difficult to find your car, much less that parking sticker, in a huge pile of snow :).
  • The homeowner is responsible for removing snow and ice from sidewalks in front of their property within 3 hours of the snow falling. Not doing so, can result in a fine. Also don’t throw the snow into the street! The city fines for that as well. Although that can be a little tricky and once it warms up people often spread some of the snow from giant snow mounds out on the black pavement to melt.
  • You can legally mark the spot you have shoveled out (use a space saver) only up to 48 hours after a snow emergency has been lifted. Of course, people do this MUCH longer… sometimes up to a week. Arguments break out over the limited parking spots. Brance witnessed a neighbor remove a nasty letter from a person’s car after he realized that car belonged to someone he knew personally! People often feel they own the spot they have worked so hard to shovel and get VERY emotional if someone parks in that spot, even after the allotted 48 hours. It is funny seeing laundry baskets, chairs, and other random pieces of furniture littered all over the neighborhood for days after a big snow :).
  • If you are one of the unlucky people who happens NOT to find a parking spot during a snow emergency, there are discount garages you can park in with a valid resident parking sticker. You are to arrive up to two hours before the start of the snow emergency and are required to leave two hours after it is lifted. If not, after that, standard parking rates apply.
  • Many of the regular rules apply. Parking meters remain in effect. Obviously, you can’t park in front of another person’s driveway. And parking in crosswalks or in front of fire hydrants and ramps is still not allowed. Also the 1 foot curb rule still applies.
  • If trash and recycling are cancelled (only during the worst storms), you have to hold it until the next scheduled pickup. Otherwise, place your containers in front of or to the side of snow banks, not behind.

The city of Boston has more information on their website, in case you need it.

As crazy as it can get in Boston when it snows, most of us do not have to shovel out driveways. That is not something I feel we are missing out on! Although, I DO miss seeing snow on the beautiful rolling hills of VA. If you live in a part of the world where it snows, do you look forward to snow or do you dread it? Let’s chat about snow!

2 thoughts on “Crazy Tips and Rules for Snow in Boston

  1. it doesn’t snow much in western Washington. If it does, you can pretty much count on it being gone within 12 hours.
    But the two most memorable snows I have are:
    1. Flying to missouri after Chuck and I were just engaged for the long Presidents’ Day weekend and getting stuck there because of 3 feet of snow that fell while we were gone. No worries!! While we were at the airport to rebook our flight home I got to chase down one of my all time favorite baseball icons, Ozzie Smith!
    2. I snowshoed 12 miles while I was 7 months pregnant. Yeah, didn’t think that out too well before I committed a few months before.
    I love snow but I dislike the yucky mess it is when it starts to melt…

  2. Hi Dawn! That first story is SO cool. How fun to just happen to meet a favorite sport icon at the airport because of snow. And wow, snowshoeing 7 months pregnant sounds like something that deserves a medal!!!

    My sister doesn’t get much snow where she lives. Like you, I don’t think she misses it all that much. Although, she said she was kind of ” jealous” about the snow we were getting ;). Being in the city, it won’t take any time at all before it is black sludge, though.

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