Janine Davis

A parking meter is seen in Krakow, Poland on October 5, 2022. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

More and more events are happening in the Queen City, but there are fewer and fewer places to park. Some drivers are finding it difficult to know just where to park to avoid getting a ticket or getting towed.

I know firsthand the challenges of parking in uptown Charlotte. The signage could be confusing. While it’s okay to park on some streets during the work week, but there are some exceptions to even those. For example, during the week, drivers can park on some streets for a fee and in that space up to a certain time.

And there is always the issue of parking in areas that don’t offer paid parking, like a nearby park or neighborhood. There you may be forced to park on someone’s lawn or in an empty field. So therein lies the question. Is it even legal to park on someone’s lawn or an empty field? Where can you park when there’s little or no parking? Better yet, where CAN’T you park in Charlotte?

I did a little homework to find out the answer.

  • In a metered space without paying.
  • In front of or within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.
  • Within 20 feet of a driveway entrance to a fire station.
  • In a fire lane.
  • In front of a public or private driveway.
  • On a sidewalk or crosswalk.
  • On a bridge.
  • On a median.

Drivers who park their cars illegally could receive citations with fines ranging from $25-$100 depending on the infraction, according to the City of Charlotte website.

Source: Charlotte City Code, Charlotte Observer

  • Metered space

    Parking meter

    Park at a metered space and NOT pay, will get you a ticket from the city. Tickets can range from $25-$100 depending upon infraction.

  • Fire hydrant

    Fire hydrant

    Parking in front of or within 15 feet of a fire hydrant is illegal in most cities and Charlotte is no exception. Doing so, will get you a ticket or possible towed.

  • Fire lane

    fire lane

    There are times when going through the hassle of trying to find a parking space is a pain, especially when you only plan to run in a store and right back out. So, you park in the fire lane — with your hazards on, of course. NO! Parking in a fire lane even for a few seconds is illegal. It’s a fire lane for a reason. You are hindering emergency vehicles (fire truck, ambulance).

  • Public or private driveway

    Car in driveway

    Though this seems obvious, drivers cannot park in front of a public or private driveway. This is illegal in the city of Charlotte and could get you a ticket.


  • Sidewalk or crosswalk

    Despite what you may have seen, you cannot park on a sidewalk or crosswalk. It is illegal in the city of Charlotte. Many different cities also do not allow this, because you are limiting where people are able to easily walk in the cities.

  • Bridge

    Grandfather Glows

    The Mile-High Swinging Bridge in fog, at Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina.

    Not sure how this would even be a thought, but it is absolutely illegal to park on a bridge in the city of Charlotte.


  • Median



  • Driveway entrance to fire station

    Fire station

    You cannot park within 20 feet of a driveway entrance to a fire station. This can be a dangerous hazard, because it blocks where firefighters can go in case of an emergency.

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