FAQs

Yellow30MinuteQ: What do the different color tops mean on parking meters? 
A: There are time limits for parking meters. The maximum amount of time a vehicle can remain in the metered space is indicated on the meter face and by the color on the top of the meter. If you remain parked at the meter after the maximum time allotted you may receive a ticket for an overtime violation. You must move your vehicle to a different location when the time has expired. You cannot "feed" the meter nor can you "jockey" your vehicle.  This is the act of moving just a few spaces or to the other side of the street or lot.  To allow as many people as possible the opportunity to park you must relocate your vehicle to another zone, street or lot.  Long term parking is available in the EJ Gare garage, Round House, Old South, Hampton and James House lots.    
 
Yellow Top Meter = 30 minutes maximum = .25 total
 
Green Top Meter = 1 hour maximum = .50 per hour

Blue Top Meter = 2 hours maximum = .75 per hour

Orange Top Meter = 4 hours maximum = .25 per hour

Red Top Meter = 10 hours maximum = .25 per hour
  
  
                                      
PayStationQ: What is a Pay-to-Park station and how do I use it? 
A: There are two types of "meters" in use in Northampton.  One is the traditional meter pole shown in the sample pictures above.  The other is a pay station which dispenses a pay to park tag.  The tag shows the date and time of purchase as well as the time it expires.  Place the tag face up on the vehicle dash so it can be clearly seen by Parking Enforcement.  Please clear away any items which may obstruct a clear view of the tag.  Pay to park stations are currently in use in municipal lots, Gothic St. garage and Main St.

Q: How much does it cost to park at meters and in municipal parking lots?
     
 One and Two Hour Meters = .75 per hour
      Long-Term Meters = .50 per hour
      Short-Term Lots = .75 per hour
      Long-Term Lots = .25 per hour
 
      Amount of time given per coin
      
.05 = 4 minutes
      .10 = 8 minutes
      .25 = 20 minutes
    
Q: How do I pay a parking ticket? 
A:
 When a parking ticket is issued please allow 24 hours for it to be available for payment on-line or by telephone.   

     To pay a ticket on-line click on the link provided - parkingticketpayment.com/northampton.
     A convenience fee of $3.50 will be charged for each ticket paid using the online system.   
     
     Telephone payments can be made by calling 1-800-956-1264.  When making payments on-line or by telephone you will 
     need the ticket number and the vehicle registration.  A convenience fee of $3.50 will be charged for each ticket paid by telephone.
  
     Payment Mailing Address - City of Northampton Processing Center  
                                                 PO Box 2052
                                                 Tarrytown, NY 10591-9052
  
     Payment can be made in-person at the Parking Office.  The office is open Monday-Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm, 
     with the exception of holidays.
      
Q: How long do I have to pay a ticket before a late fee is added? 
A:  In accordance with Massachusetts Law fines must be paid or appealed within 21 days from the date the ticket was issued.
      For failure to pay within 60 days the Registry of Motor Vehicles is notified and an additional penalty is added per ticket. 

Q: Can I pay E-Z Pass or MassDOT Violations at your office?
A:  No, these violations must be paid through their respective violation processing systems. 
      More information can be found at
http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/
  
Q:  I am marked at the Registry of Motor Vehicles for non-renewal of my driver's license and/or registration
     because
of outstanding parking tickets in the City of Northampton. What do I need to do to clear the marks?
A:  When you are marked at the Registry of Motor Vehicles for non-renewal you must pay all outstanding tickets with the City of
      Northampton in order to receive a Registry Release.  Payments can be made on-line at parkingticketpaymentcom/northampton,
      by telephone at 1-800-956-1264 or in person by cash, money order, credit or debit card.  Payments by personal check will
      not be released until the check has cleared, this may take up to two weeks.  If payment is made through the on-line or telephone
      services you must contact the Parking Clerk's Office at 413-587-1025 for a Registry Release.  No Registry Releases will be made
      until all outstanding parking tickets are paid in full. 
 
Q: How do I dispute a ticket?
A:
MGL Chapter 90, Section 20A ½ allows individuals to appeal unpaid parking tickets within 21 days from the date the ticket
     was issued. The appeal must be in writing and include the name and address of the person appealing the ticket, the name and
     address of the registered owner of the vehicle if it is not the same, and the reason for the appeal. The appeal must include any
     evidence, diagrams or documentation supporting the appeal.  A parking ticket appeal may be submitted in one of three ways:

     On-line at:  parkingticketpayment.com/northampton
     By Mail: Parking Clerk - 212 Main Street - Northampton, MA 01060
     In-Person: An appeal form may be obtained at the office located in the Wallace Pulchalski Municipal Building, 212 Main Street   
     Northampton. Office hours are 8:30am-4:30pm, Monday through Friday. (Except Holidays) 

              Once the Parking Clerk's Office receives the appeal, the ticket is placed on "hold" and does not accumulate penalties
              during the duration of the appeal process. You will receive a written response from the Hearing Officer within 21 days. In the event 
              your appeal request is denied an Administrative Hearing may be requested prior to the new payment due date 
              set by the Hearing Officer. Decisions made by the Parking Clerk at the hearing are final. A Final Judgment issued by the 
              Parking Clerk may only be appealed to Superior Court. The individual must contact Hampshire Superior Court directly to  
              obtain information on the appeal process by calling or visiting the Superior Court Clerk located at 15 Gothic Street, Northampton.
                               
         Q: I received a notice for an unpaid ticket - I believe I already paid it - what do I do now?
 
        A: Please contact the Parking Clerk's office at 413-587-1025 to check on the status of a ticket. 
               Should the status check show the ticket as unpaid you will be asked to provide proof of payment. 
               This may be a receipt or if paid by check a copy of the front and back of the check.
  
         Q: I parked at a meter and received a ticket because the meter was expired; I think the meter was broken
          A: Defective meters must be reported to meter maintenance for verification.  The meter repair hotline number 587-1099 is shown on all
               parking meters and pay-to park stations.  If you believe you have received a ticket in error because of a broken meter you must still
               appeal the ticket in writing either on-line or by mail.  

         Q: I received a ticket for parking within 3 feet of a driveway - why is this?
        
A: Under City of Northampton Ordinance §312-27 (H) "No person shall allow, permit or suffer any vehicle registered in their name to
              stand or park in any street, way, highway, road or parkway under the control of the City ... within three feet of a driveway".
             What if it is my own driveway?  The ordinance does not exclude homeowners or residents from this regulation. 
  
         Q: Is there a City Ordinance about the distance vehicles must be from an intersection when parking?
         
A: Yes, §312-27 (I) states - "no vehicle shall park on any street or highway within 20 feet of an intersecting way".  
 
         Q: I received a ticket for parking too far from the curb, why?
          A: When a vehicle is parked upon a roadway under the control of the City of Northampton both wheels on the right side of the vehicle
               must be within 12 inches of the curb or edge of the road.  This does not apply to streets or parts of streets where angle parking is
               required by regulation.  
 
         Q: What is the regulation about parking near a fire hydrant?
          A: In accordance with §312-27(I) - No vehicle shall park upon any street or highway within 10 feet of a fire hydrant. 
 
         Q: Is there a City Ordinance about parking and bike lanes in Northampton?
          A: Bike lanes have been established within the City of Northampton on certain public ways for the use of non-motorized bicycle traffic.
               A bike lane is designated by means of painted lines, pavement coloring or other appropriate markings.  §312-99B of the City
               ordinances prohibits vehicles from parking within a designated bike lane in a manner which would obstruct bicyclist passage. 
               The reason for this is to ensure the safety of the cyclists using the bicycle lane.  When the lane is obstructed, the cyclist is forced to
               leave the lane and turn into the street which may endanger the cyclist.