It is possible to park free in downtown Ann Arbor at certain times of the day, week, and year. Here are some tips regarding how to store your vehicle at a minimum of cost with a minimum of risk of getting ticketed or towed. 

Some things have changed since this list has been field checked, so you probably have to note this is an estimate.

For background on the corrosive effects of free parking, see Donald Shoup, The High Cost of Free Parking.

Free parking structures

  • All Ann Arbor DDA lots and structures are free on Sundays.
  • The underground structure and surface parking at the Washtenaw County Courthouse is free after 6:30 pm [probably not? check] and on weekends and holidays.

Near the Ann Arbor Farmers Market

  • The Washtenaw County Courthouse and the county parking lot at N Fourth Ave and Catherine are free for the Saturday market.
  • There is a neighborhood parking district to the north of Beakes Street which has two hour parking on Wednesdays and free parking on Saturdays.
  • To the west of Main Street and north of Kingsley Street, there is two hour parking on Wednesdays and free parking on Saturdays.


Government offices

Loading zones

  • A number of loading zones in the city are enforced only until 6 pm, and after that they revert to free parking. Other loading zones change to taxi stands, despite the dwindling number of actual taxis in the city. [Are there still taxi stands? Check.]

Metered city lots

  • All downtown parking meters are free after 6pm, and on Sundays and after noon on holidays [?]. This includes both on-street meters and meters in parking lots, including
    • The lot next to Palio, which, on nice summer evenings, sees cars idling in wait for a space, even while the Fourth & Washington Parking Structure has space available.
    • The Farmer's Market lot, which tends to be fairly empty by 6pm.
    • Detroit St. across from Argiero's Italian Restauraunt
    • The lot on the northwest corner of 4th and Catherine 

University lots

Park and ride


Several downtown Ypsilanti and Depot Town parking areas provide free two hour parking spaces; most on-street and lot parking is metered, however:

Art Fair

Ann Arbor's Art Fairs are notorious for their lack of free parking. Your best bet is to park for free at Briarwood Mall and take a shuttle in.