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Residential Permit Parking Program

Related Pages: Public Works & Parks » Engineering » Parking & Traffic

The following Frequently Asked Questions pertain to Worcester's Residential Permit Parking Program.

What is a Residential Permit Parking Program?

A Residential Permit Parking Program (RPP) is designed to respond to the needs of a neighborhood whose permanent residents have a problem finding legal curbside parking, by giving them preference to the limited number of spaces within their neighborhood.

The object of the RPP program is to prevent non-resident commuters from using residential streets as parking lots during work days. Commuter parking is typically a problem where business, educational and commercial activities take place near residential areas.

Heavy commuter parking in residential neighborhoods increases the risk of injury due to motor vehicle and motor vehicle/pedestrian accidents. Congestion makes it difficult for emergency vehicles to access residential areas. The cumulative effect is to lower the quality of life in residential areas. The Resident Permit Program attempts to relieve some of these problems. While there are positive aspects to resident-only parking, there may be misconceptions as well as shown below.

Positive Aspects of a Permit Program:

  • Relieves parking pressures in residential neighborhoods.
  • Controls the encroachment of institutional parking in residential areas.
  • Enhances the quality of life in the neighborhoods.
  • Gives residents preference to limited curb-side parking spaces.
  • Eliminates unauthorized long-term (permanently parked) vehicles from designated streets.

Potential Negative Aspects of a Permit Program:

  • Can be misperceived by members of the public as "private" or guaranteed parking.
  • Residents may mistakenly view RPP as a panacea for the physical shortage of parking spaces.
  • Can transfer parking congestion to adjacent roadways.
  • Can restrict the number of visitors to an area.
  • Can be restrictive to commerce, especially in mixed use neighborhoods.
How does the Residential Permit Parking Program work?

Residents of the City of Worcester may petition the City Council to restrict parking on a residential street. The Council, through its Traffic & Parking Subcommittee, may approve an ordinance to restrict parking to "Residents Only" for one or both sides of a street and during certain hours or days depending on the problems being experienced by the neighborhood. Once City Council approves the petition, DPW&P will post the appropriate signs designating the area as Parking by Resident Permit Only.

Residents of a street approved by City Council for Residential Permit Parking must then apply to the Parking Administrator for a permit for each of their vehicles. Residents may also apply for visitor permits. All permits must be renewed annually. For additional information on permit applications and fees please visit the Parking Administration's Permit Page.

Once signs are in place and residents have purchased their permits, Worcester Police and Parking Control Officers will enforce the area. Vehicles parked in the RPP that do not display valid permits will be subject to fines.

What is the process for obtaining Resident Permit Parking?

  1. A petition is submitted to the City Clerk's Office requesting a Resident Permit Parking zone.

  2. The petition is acknowledged by the City Council and referred to its Traffic & Parking Committee.

  3. City engineers review the petition and prepare a recommendation for the Traffic & Parking Committee (see next section).

  4. The petition is posted on a Traffic & Parking Committee agenda and residents of the affected area are invited to the meeting.

  5. At the Traffic & Parking hearing, residents and interested parties are allowed to testify.

  6. If the Committee votes to approve the RPP zone, their vote is sent to City Council for final approval.

  7. After a new ordinance is drafted, a work order is submitted for the RPP zone signs to be installed.

  8. Citizens can apply for a permit and/or visitor pass.

What is done in the engineer's investigation?

The City's engineers are responsible for reviewing all petitions for Resident Permit zones and to advise the Traffic & Parking Committee of their findings. The following are issues that are examined and that contribute to the engineer's recommendations:

  1. Institutional parking effects in the immediate area (colleges, hospitals, manufacturing, etc.).
  2. Residential, commercial or mixed use neighborhood.
  3. Winter Parking Ban or other parking restrictions within the requested area.
  4. Housing density (Single Family, Multi-Family, Apartment complexes, public housing).
  5. Parking density is also considered such as available curb-side and/or off-street parking.
  6. Presence of public schools or health centers in the immediate area.
  7. If it is determined there is a need for a RPP zone, then the configuration of the zone must be determined (24/7, weekdays, evenings, one or both sides of the roadway).
  8. Other existing RPP zones in the immediate area.
  9. Potential negative effects on commerce in the area must be determined.

The results of the engineer's survey along with a recommendation are submitted to the Traffic & Parking Committee.

What is the first step in the RPP process?

Talk to your neighbors. Everyone on the street will be affected by RPP. If the consensus is that the RPP is appropriate, contact the City Clerk to obtain a blank Petition Form. Fill in your request and get your neighbors to sign. Mail the petition to the City Clerk. This action will start the process.

Which streets are eligible for RPP?

The City will hear petitions for the RPP Program for any City street that is designated as a PUBLIC street and is residential in nature.

Which streets are not eligible for the RPP Program?

City streets that are designated as PRIVATE, developer streets, alleys, driveways, etc. are not eligible. Commercial and mixed use streets are also not eligible.

Who is eligible for a permit?

Any City resident who resides within a designated Resident Permit Parking zone is eligible. The resident must show proof of residence at that location. The resident must show proof that the vehicle is registered at that location.

Will Resident Permit Parking solve my winter parking problems?

The RPP is not intended to keep neighbors from parking on your street or parking in "your" parking space. It also does not eliminate the need to have a winter parking ban (No Parking on one side) on your street.

Can I get RPP for the front of my house?

Since this program deals with neighborhoods, the standard policy is to institute the program on a complete street, or in the case of a very long street, at least a full block.

What happens when I have work done on my home?

If you have a plumber, electrician, etc., working on your property it will be necessary for him/her to use a Visitor's Pass if parked in the RPP zone.

What if we have an event at our home?

The City, through the Public Works & Parks Department, can grant your guests parking consideration if you are having a wedding, party or other special large event.

What do I do about health workers visiting my home regularly?

It is appropriate for health or social workers to use your Visitor Pass when visiting your home. Or the worker(s) may be eligible for a Professional Service Pass. If there are special circumstances, a request can be made to the Parking Administrator for considerations.

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