Park in NYC after learning the fundamental rules of the curb
Is the art of picking a safe space to park in NYC an acquired trait? Or Is your DNA wired to speed read, process confusing data, and make sound decisions 100% of the time?
In case you’re like me, and we’ve got to learn all this stuff, here are some key points to remember before attempting to park safely in NYC.
1. All NYC is a tow away zone
No notice required. We can thank Albany for this dangerous state of affairs.
Back in the 1950’s, the NY State legislature in their infinite wisdom voted in favor of allowing Captain Hook to grab your chariot for any safety or parking rules violation.
The discretion to ruin your day and empty your wallet was given to warriors and cops. Oh boy…that’s comforting.
The only way to fix this sorry state of affairs is to learn the rules and obey them as best you can.
2. You are prohibited from stopping, standing, and parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant
That’s right, 15 feet in all directions from the pump. Don’t expect to find a yellow painted curb to designate the distance. Yellow paint on a curb has no significance whatsoever in parking in NYC.
There is an exception to the “no park” fire hydrant zone:
- Between sunrise and sunset
- A passenger vehicle (but not a commercial vehicle)
- Can stop, stand, or park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant
- As long as a license driver remains seated behind the wheel (not in the passenger seat or rear seat)
- With the keys
- Ready to move upon request to do so by a person of authority
3. Leaving a note on your car doesn’t mean a thing, if you’re standing or parking illegally
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the excuse, “I only ran into the store for a second, and left a note on the windshield for the warrior.”
Maybe a note from “Epstein’s Mother” may hold some weight. But an epistle from you, in essence telling the warrior that you empowered yourself to waive the parking rules while you run into the store for just a minute, isn’t going to hold much weight in Parking Ticket Land.
Believe-you-me, no self-respecting warrior will grant you amnesty.
4. The length of a bus stop varies from block to block
Here are some of the comments I’ve heard from wonderful members of the driving public:
- “I parked at least 8 feet from the bus stop shelter” [But, the average bus is 42-45 feet long]
- “I parked all the way down the block from the bus stop sign, and still got a bus stop ticket”[But, parking way down the block is not a defense to a bus stop violation]
- ” I picked up my friend and we only waited at the bus stop for a minute to decide where to go next” [ But, you’ve got to exit a bus stop zone, immediately or sooner]
- “My friend was getting into my car with her 2 bags, and we still got a bus stop ticket” [But, a bus stop zone is a no standing zone. You can only pick up or discharge people, not their property, in a bus stop zone]
Learning is relentless repetition, so here it goes:
- A bus stop zone starts at the bus stop sign
- Extends in the direction of the arrow(s)
- Until the next parking sign
- Or if none, the end of the block
You are permitted to stand in a bus stop zone:
- Stop temporarily
- Expeditiously pick up or discharge
- Not property
- Leave immediately
- Not interfere with a bus entering or exiting the bus stop zone
5. You can legally park in front of a pedestrian ramp (curb cut), if:
- It is not at a 4-corner intersection
- it lives mid block
- On the long ‘T’
- Of a ‘T’ intersection
- No marked crosswalk
- Traffic control device
- Stop signs
- Regulating traffic
6. A driveway is a no standing zone
You are permitted to stop temporarily to drop off or pick up a passenger in a no standing zone. But:
- You can’t stay longer than a “New York Minute”
- You cannot drop off or pick up a passenger and her stuff
I’m totally convinced we can beat the Evil Empire at its own game. But, it takes commitment to learning the rules and transferring your knowledge to the real life drama of parking in NYC.
I’m wit chu!
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