Mardi Gras parking: It’s complicated

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - Be very careful when parking around New Orleans over the next two weeks, and not just because meter maids will be out in force.

There seems to be some confusion on whether all the markings on the streets are correct.

WGNO-News with a Twist came across this yellow line at the stop sign near Coliseum and Josephine streets that appears to mark off legal parking.

But city law says you must park at least 20 feet away from a stop sign.

That's not 20 feet.

The city tells us they are looking into this particular case for us, but warns drivers to know laws as they are on the books or risk getting a ticket - or worse, booted or towed. Note to out-of-towners: You might need to study New Orleans parking laws before you arrive. Or, take the city's advice and make use of taxis, ride-sharing apps or carpooling.

Here's the Mardi Gras parking restrictions released by the city. Warning: it's a long read:

In addition to permanent No Parking signs posted along parade routes, the City will install approximately 3,000 temporary signs. Drivers are encouraged to pay close attention when parking to avoid being ticketed or towed.

Two hours prior to the scheduled start of each Mardi Gras parade, any unauthorized vehicle on any part of the published parade route will be ticketed and towed.

Parking is prohibited on either side of the following streets two hours before and after parades:

  • Tchoupitoulas Street between Jackson and Nashville Avenues;
  • Napoleon Avenue between Tchoupitoulas Street and S. Claiborne Avenue; and
  • St. Charles Avenue between Napoleon Avenue and Canal Street.

This will ensure public safety and facilitate the flow of the Carnival Krewes (violations result in a $75 fine and seizure).

Two hours after a Mardi Gras parade ends, any unauthorized vehicle on any part of the published parade route will be ticketed and towed. This is done to keep the route clear so that it can be cleaned by the City’s Department of Sanitation (violations result in a $75 fine and seizure).

Beginning the Friday before Mardi Gras, February 24, at 6 p.m. until the Wednesday after Mardi Gras, March 1, at 6 a.m., no on-street parking is allowed and no vehicular traffic except those with issued permits are allowed into the French Quarter between Iberville Street, N. Rampart Street, Dumaine Street and Decatur Street ($50 fine and seizure).

Crews will be towing on all cross streets of Bourbon Street during the events, including the 700-800 blocks of Iberville Street, St. Ann Street and the 700 block of Royal Street. 

Parking of recreational vehicles, campers and oversized vehicles is prohibited in residential areas. It is strictly enforced during the Mardi Gras season particularly in the Central Business District, Warehouse District and Garden District.

Before, during and after the parades, the City will extend enforcement efforts into the neighborhoods adjacent to the published parade routes. This will minimize non-residential intrusion. Parking officers will primarily enforce the following safety violations:

  • Blocking a fire hydrant ($40 fine)
  • Parking in a fire lane ($40 fine)
  • Parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant on either side ($40 fine)
  • Parking within 20 feet of a crosswalk, intersection, or stop sign ($40 fine)
  • Parking on a sidewalk ($40 fine)
  • Parking on a traveled portion of the roadway ($40 fine)
  • Parking within 3 feet of a driveway on either side ($40 fine)
  • Parking on the neutral ground and subject to seizure ($75 fine)
  • Parking adjacent to the neutral ground ($40 fine)
  • Parking in freight/loading zone ($40 fine)
  • Parking in a handicapped zone without proper permit displayed ($500 fine)
  • Parking at an expired meter ($40 fine)
  • Parking in a Residential Permit Parking zone without a permit displayed ($40 fine)
  • Parking in the wrong direction (vehicles must park in the direction of travel on one way streets, and with the right wheel to the curb on two way streets) ($40 fine)
  • Vehicles that have unpaid parking tickets will be booted and/or towed.

Additionally, parking enforcement, towing staff and auto impound offices will work the following extended hours during the 2017 Mardi Gras season:

  • Friday, February 24, 2017 thru Sunday February 26, 2017, 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 a.m.
  • Monday, February 27, 2017, 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Mardi Gras Day, February 28, 2017, 5:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.

For more information on parking enforcement, citizens may call:

  • Department of Public Works (Parking enforcement and information), (504) 658-8100 (answered 24 hours)           
  • Information related to Residential Parking Permits, (504) 658-8200
  • Pay and release of boot, (504) 658-8083 or 1-877-314-3767
  • Information on Ticket/Tow Appeals Hearings: (504) 658-8250