Can you park for free at broken muni-meters?
Conflicting Version #1from the Evil Empire (@March 17, 2020)
You may prevail on a defense of a broken parkng meter if you can prove that:
- You attempted to purchase a parking meter receipt from the next nearest machine on the same block (you don’t have to go across the street) or within the same municipal lot.
- You unsuccessfully tried to make the purchase with all methods of payment accepted by the machine (for example, coins, credit cards, etcetera).
Conflicting Version #2
You are permitted to park for free at broken muni-meters. But, the price of “free” may be very expensive. A driver is required to follow an exhausting procedure to qualify for “free” parking. It may not be worth the time and effort of:
- Filing a broken muni-meter report on the 311 NYC website
- Searching for a working muni-meter in the same parking field
- A parking field includes the entire city block where the broken muni-meter lives, and the entire city block across the street from the broken meter (UPDATE: You are required to search the city block where the broken meter lives (both sides of the street). But, there is some authority that says you may have to search the next city block (both sides of the street), too. (Yikes! Pack a lunch).
- If a driver finds a working muni-meter in the parking field, she is required to buy time and display the receipt on the dashboard of her car
- If there are no working muni-meters in the parking field, a driver must document that all muni-meters are broken
- The broken muni-meter report form will trigger a service request. If you are issued a parking ticket during your parking field journey, you can fight it, submit the proper proof, and the hearing examiner will access the service order to confirm that the muni-meter was, in fact, broken and there were no other working muni-meters in the same parking field
Conflicting Version #3
When a parking meter is out of service, it will flash a red light and the display message will read “machine out of order.” You must use a functional parking meter on the same block or the next block, or in the same parking field to purchase a parking receipt.
If all parking meters on the block, on the next block, or in the parking field are all broken or missing, New York City law allows you to park for the maximum amount of time posted for that metered space. In a parking field, purchase a parking receipt from the nearest meter to the broken one. Make sure to document the date, time, and meter numbers in case you need to dispute a parking ticket.
Can you park for “free” at a broken muni-meter? Sure. Should you? No way!
Where does one find the broken muni-meter report form on the 311 NYC website?
A muni-meter map of open and recently closed service requests for broken muni-meters
Link: Map of open and recently closed service requests for broken muni-meters found on 311 NYC website
All of New York City’s mechanical meters have been replaced by muni-meters. It is essential for the wonderful members of the NYC driving public to learn the official code of conduct for engaging with muni-meters while parking in our fair city. If you think ignorance is bliss, I assure you bliss can get pretty darn expensive.
I updated the information about the rules of engagement for a broken muni-meter (See, above). I urge you not to park at a broken meter regardless of whether you follow the updated version or the older version. There is wiggle room for a rogue parking ticket judge to find you guilty.
If you enjoyed this article, you may wish to check out:
“New York Has 81,875 Metered Parking Spaces, And Millions of Free Ones”– Streetsblog.org (I love this publication)
“Benefits of the New Muni Meters”– The NYC Department of Transportation. Includes some helpful diagrams.
“Are you making these 5 NYC parking ticket mistakes?”– Larry’s Blog
“Are broken muni-meters a problem for you?”- Larry’s Blog