There's always something going on in downtown Cleveland, Ohio's bustling central business and entertainment district. With multiple sports venues, upscale clubs, shopping centers, and an amazing food scene, the area is usually crowded with tourists and locals alike. This of course translates to daily rush-hour traffic jams and makes it hard to find parking around.
There are many metered parking spaces around downtown Cleveland (finding one available is a different story), but it's always a good idea to become familiar with the meter parking rules, and how you can avoid getting a ticket. If you're moving to Cleveland, or are planning a visit to the downtown area, here's what you need to know.
Note: Beat the crowds and reserve a convenient parking space right in the heart of downtown Cleveland. Smarking offers flexible parking passes so you only pay for the days you need and enjoy a worry-free day in the city.
Cleveland Parking Meters
The City of Cleveland enforces street metered parking from Monday - Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. charging $0.50 per hour. Notice there is no free parking on Sundays but there are major holidays when the parking meter zones are free of charge. These holidays are New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Day After Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and Day After Christmas Day.
You could also park for free in metered spaces as long as you do it outside of the operation hours. Dollar bills and credit cards are not accepted in single-space meters. However, you may use any type of coin. All of the multi-space meters on West 6th Street accept credit or debit cards for payment.
Avoid a Parking Ticket
Depending on the violation, the cost of a Cleveland parking ticket will vary. Some of the most common fines are $25 for standard parking violations (not paying the meter), $50 for blocking a bus stop or fire hydrant, and $250 for parking in a handicapped parking space. If you're going for free street parking, there are some important city parking rules you'll want to keep in mind if you want to avoid a ticket. Make sure you don't park in a crosswalk or intersection, on a sidewalk, next to a fire hydrant, or at a broken parking meter (as tempting as this may sound).
If you do come across a faulty parking meter, report it to the Parking Violations Bureau. Once you get a ticket, you will have up to 15 days to pay it, or, under certain circumstances you can dispute it. Among other reasons, you could dispute your ticket if the vehicle information on it is wrong (license plate number, color, vehicle manufacturer, etc...), if the parking sign was faded or not visible, and if the handwriting is incomprehensible.
Parking Options in Downtown Cleveland
While there are many metered parking spaces in the downtown area, finding parking can still get very tricky, and you will usually have to drive around for a while before you find an available space. The best workaround is to plan ahead and find a nearby downtown Cleveland parking garage or lot where you can safely leave your car for the day. Let's go over a couple of options you might want to check out.
Cathedral Plaza Garage
For the best combo of location, price and safety, we recommend parking at the Cathedral Plaza Garage, located on Rockwell Avenue and 9th Street. On weekdays, the garage is open from 6 am to 10 pm; on weekends, it is open from 7 am to 7 pm. Visit the Smarking website and make a reservation to receive the cheapest price (as low as $7 per day) on a parking space in this garage. We also offer great monthly parking options. Get your SmartPass to pay only for the days you will need and you will get a QR code for convenient in/out access to our parking facilities.
Willard Park Garage
This parking option is located on Lakeside Avenue right by the Cleveland City Hall. It's a great option if you're going to the Public Hall, the Convention Center, and it's a 10-minute walk to the iconic Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They're open Monday - Friday from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. and the rates go from $3.50 for the first hour, up to a daily maximum of $10. They also offer an early bird rate of $8 if you're in by 8:30 a.m.
Keep in mind that if there's a special event in the area the rates might go up, and there is no overnight parking. They do offer a monthly parking option for $125. If this garage is full, you might be able to find available parking near the Cleveland Public Hall.
Gateway East Garage
The Gateway East Garage is a great option located on 650 Huron Rd E, just a few steps away from the Progressive Field Stadium. If you're going to a Cleveland Guardians baseball game, this is the ideal place to park. However, on game days, traffic may be particularly congested in this area so plan extra time in case the garage is full. Explore more Progressive Field Stadium parking alternatives.
Depending on who is playing that day, the garage has varying pricing but you'll pay anything between $10 - $20. During non-game days, the parking rates start at $1 for every 15 minutes, going up to a daily maximum of $7 (out by 5:30 p.m.). The garage is only open on weekdays from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. with no overnight parking available.
Public Square Garage
Located on 320 W Superior Ave, this covered parking facility is very close to the JACK Cleveland Casino, the Marriott Downtown hotel, and of course, the Cleveland Public Square. The first 5 minutes here are free of charge, and the rates go from $4 for 15 minutes up to $20 as a daily maximum. There's a weekday evening flat rate of $12 (in after 5 p.m.), and monthly parking options for $100. This parking garage is open 24/7. In case this garage is full, feel free to check other parking alternatives around Public Square.