I am travelling by car in the USA (Boston, Massachusetts). The weather is currently pretty snowy. Am I supposed to pay for parking when the parking meter is buried under the snow?


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  • 1
    Are the spaces visible?
    – Gayot Fow
    Feb 19, 2015 at 20:52
  • @GayotFow Parking spaces are sometime visible. Feb 19, 2015 at 20:56
  • 3
    If the spaces are visible, then you should make a REASONABLE ATTEMPT to pay. Define 'reasonable' and 'attempt' in any way that sounds convincing. Take a picture with your mobile, whatever...
    – Gayot Fow
    Feb 19, 2015 at 20:59
  • 3
    @GayotFow - on behalf of Britain, you're welcome ;) (Also, you still owe us some tea) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaughan_v_Menlove
    – Jon Story
    Feb 20, 2015 at 10:13
  • 1
    How do you proceed if you cannot see any indication that payment is required?
    – Gusdor
    Feb 20, 2015 at 13:15

1 Answer 1


The answer depends on the municipality. In the case of Boston, the short answer is yes:

Parking meters remain in effect

during snow emergencies.

But, while parking enforcement will be active in the city, their focus will be towing cars parked on "snow emergency arteries" (i.e. major thoroughfares which receive priority attention for snow abatement for use by snow removal equipment and emergency vehicles) and on other violations that could exacerbate problems in a major snow event, like parking in front of a fire hydrant.

And as noted in a recent public radio story, city officials “don’t want anyone to fall and hurt themselves” trying to get to a meter.

If you do get a ticket for not paying and you feel you couldn’t get to the meter, [Boston Transportation Department spokeswoman Tracey] Ganiatsos advises that you take a picture of the snow in front of the meter, if that’s the case, and appeal the ticket.…

But, whether or not a meter is accessible for payment, the city will ticket drivers who are parked longer than the meter time limit — which is two hours in most parts of the city — Ganiatsos said.

See www.cityofboston.gov/snow for an overview of all the city's snow policies and procedures, but remember neighboring municipalities like Cambridge or Brookline have their own, and may not apply the same standards that Boston does.

  • A city law about "what to do when the parking machine is under snow" counts as of the stranger things I've heard of.
    – yo'
    Feb 20, 2015 at 0:23
  • 3
    @yo' It's not in places where being buried under snow is something that has happened before and has a reasonable chance of happening again. Feb 20, 2015 at 1:57
  • @DanNeely I know. It seems that I forgot to tag the comment as /sarcasm, sorry for that :D
    – yo'
    Feb 20, 2015 at 11:00

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