We all know that no matter where you drive in Massachusetts, finding a parking space can feel like the toughest task you will encounter. It can be stressful. Parking can be scarce. In fact, because parking is so limited, perhaps you may think it's okay to park on a curb in Massachusetts...maybe. But can you even actually do that in the Bay State?

Is It Illegal to Park On a Curb in Massachusetts?

According to Massachusetts Parking Laws,

You cannot park within 10 feet of a fire hydrant or a fire lane, or on a curb, a center traffic island, or a median. If there is a roadway emergency or a weather emergency, you are not allowed to park on the side of the road.

That covers a lot of ground in those last couples of sentences. But let's focus on the question at hand. It seems you cannot park on a curb in Massachusetts. But what about next to the curb?

Jonathan J. Castello via Unsplash
Jonathan J. Castello via Unsplash

How Close to Curb Should You Park Your Vehicle in Massachusetts?

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation words this their explanation a little longer:

No person shall stop or park a vehicle so as to obstruct a road, driveway, parkway, intersection, sidewalk or pedestrian crossing or on a hill or curve where it would be a hazard or obstruction for other traffic. When stopping or parking a vehicle off of the traveled portion of the road, the front of the vehicle should be facing the direction in which traffic in the nearest traffic lane is flowing, and the vehicle should be stopped or parked parallel and within 12 inches of the curb; but in no case should any vehicle stop or park within 20 feet of any intersection nor within ten feet of a fire hydrant.

Essentially this means you need to be within 12 inches of the curb. However, do not park within 20 feet of an intersection (why would do that), or within 10 feet of a fire hydrant (duh). But always make sure you park on the same side of the street as flowing traffic.

NurPhoto via Getty Images
NurPhoto via Getty Images

What is the Penalty?

If perhaps you are caught parking illegally whether it be on a curb or not within 12 inches of a curb, or for any other infraction that matter, its seems that the resulting penalty could be anything from a $15 or more up to a potential towing of your vehicle. Should you get towed, that can definitely result in much more expensive costs than just a fine of some sort. The penalty may also depend on where in Massachusetts, you commit the parking infraction.

With all that being said, it just seems like you should always be careful where you park and make sure you are parking your vehicle legally. Hopefully you can find a decent space.

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