Safe & Lawful Parking Campaign

Three Photo Collage of Vehicles Parking on Worcester Sidewalks

Sidewalk Parking is Dangerous:

  • Sidewalks are spaces for pedestrians, including vision impaired persons and those using wheelchairs, baby strollers or other assistive devices.
  • When a driver moves their vehicle onto the sidewalk, they risk hitting people on the sidewalk.
  • Blocking the sidewalk often forces people, especially those people in wheelchairs, to walk or roll in the street where they risk being hit by passing vehicles.

Graphic Collage Illustrating Unsafe Parking on Sidewalk with Pedestrians Walking in Street

Sidewalk Parking Damages Our Public Infrastructure:

  • Sidewalks are designed to carry people. They are not built to repeatedly withstand the weight of a car or truck.
  • Sidewalk parking damages the sidewalk, the curb and the edge of the street.
  • Sidewalk parking damages street trees, tree lawns and other grass areas.
  • Damaged streets, sidewalks and tree lawns need to be repaired and replaced more often. All Worcester residents have to shoulder those additional costs and it diverts money and resources away from other important community programs.
City Sidwalk and Curb with Cracks and Broken Areas

In summary: Parking on the sidewalk is illegal, unsafe and expensive for everyone.

Have a Question?

  • Although it is not an uncommon sight in Worcester to see vehicles parked with wheels over the curb and/or on the sidewalk, SIDEWALK PARKING IS ILLEGAL. The City ordinance requires vehicles be parked on the street within 1 foot of the curb.

  • Worcester has a long history and that is one of the things we love about our City. However, that means that many of our streets are narrower as they were designed for horses, carriages and smaller automobiles. To ensure that emergency vehicles can get to people in need, we must have at least 12 feet of clearance on our streets. Some streets are not wide enough for parking on both sides of the street and traffic. In those cases, we can restrict parking to one side of the street and/or switch the street to one-way travel. Please contact the Department of Transportation and Mobility for more information.

  • Individuals can park on the street where curbside parking is allowed. Be sure to observe all posted regulatory curbside signage (e.g. 30 min parking M - F 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.).

    Individuals can also park in municipal garages such as the Worcester Common or Federal Plaza garage, or at one of our many surface parking lots. For information regarding where to find municipal garages, surface lots and parking rates, please visit

    Residents may also file a petition to the City Council to restrict parking on a residential street to "residents only" for one or both sides of a street during certain hours or days. 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.

The Problem of Parking Facing the Opposite Direction

Vehicles parked facing the opposite direction may cause confusion in terms of the flow of traffic, especially at night, making approaching drivers over correct and potentially cause a crash.

When parking in the opposite direction, the vehicle operator must travel in the wrong direction to park the car and exit the parking space. This increases the risk of head-on collisions when entering and leaving the parking space.

Unlawful Parking Facing the Opposite Direction of Traffic

Graphic Diagram Illustrating Dangers of Parking Vehicle in Opposite Direction

  • Car #1 is illegally parked facing the opposite direction of traffic. The driver of car #1 had to drive in the wrong direction to illegally park in the opposite direction.
  • The driver of car #1 can't see when car #2 is approaching due to car #3. Car #1 must then travel in the wrong direction to exit the space, which may lead to a collision with car #2.
  • Car #2 is driving at the posted speed limit of 30mph and can't see car #1 signaling to exit the space, since it's also covered by car #3.

Contact Information

Transportation & Mobility
76 East Worcester Street
Worcester, MA 01604

Accessible via WRTA Bus Line. View Schedules

Phone: 508-929-1300 ext. 49500
Fax: 508-453-2888
Email Us

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

City of Worcester
Worcester 311
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Phone: 311
Contact Us
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