Last Updated on October 12, 2017 by Lawrence Berezin
A muni-meter parking ticket ambush
How can a muni-meter that will not accept your money be iniquitous (wicked, immoral, or evil)? Why is it an ambush? How can you get a muni-meter parking ticket?
First, let’s take a look at a Brooklyn 3-headed gotcha pole, and then I’ll tell you Sarah’s story.
The little yellow sign
The “above times”refer to street cleaning hours (Monday, 11A-12:30P) on the street cleaning sign above the little yellow sign. Ergo, the muni-meter will not accept your money during the hours that street cleaning is in effect.
Parking is permitted for two hours between 9A-7P Except for Sunday.
Here’s a similar little yellow sign that showed up in Queens
Sarah parked her car in a 2-hour meter parking zone at 11:30A on a day when street cleaning rules were suspended for an NYC legal holiday. She noticed a little yellow sign on a 3-headed gotcha pole that displayed the words, “Meters are not in effect during above times.”
Sarah’s attempts to pay for 2-hour parking were rejected by the muni-meter. The re-programmed machine would not take Sarah’s money because meters were not in effect at 11:30A during normal street cleaning hours. It appears that no one told the muni-meter to issue receipts when street cleaning hours were suspended…Yikes!
There was not a muni-meter across the street because the opposite side of the street was a no standing anytime zone…Double yikes. So, how did Sarah pay for parking?
Well, Sarah didn’t pay for parking because she thought it was legal to park because the muni-meter wasn’t working…Needless to say, poor Sarah got a parking ticket. She was nabbed by the new muni-meter parking ticket ambush.
What would you have done? Would you have:
- Parked in the space and assumed it was legal because the muni-meter was broken?
- Parked in the space and assumed it was legal because the muni-meter wasn’t working?
- Searched for a working muni-meter on another block to pay for parking?
- Vacated the parking space immediately?
A muni-meter that is programmed not to take your money during street cleaning hours appears to be a good thing. However, there are certain situations where “free” may be very costly. For example, Sarah received a parking ticket and her chariot was booted and towed.
Here’s my take:
- The little yellow sign does not mean a muni-meter is BROKEN. It is simply programmed not to take your money during street cleaning hours
- However, when street cleaning is suspended and the re-programmed muni-meter will still not take your money, search for a working muni-meter across the street
- If there isn’t a working muni-meter across the street, your options are to search for a working muni-meter on the next block; Or, vacate the space
I would skedaddle and not try to find a working muni-meter and have a parking ticket waiting for me when I return to my car (your hike will probably take more than 5-minutes, right?!). Under no circumstances, park without paying the muni-meter and displaying the paid receipt on your dash.
Have these 3 Parking Ticket mistakes cost you money?
[Larry’s comment: There is a way to park for free, but it ain’t worth your valuable time and energy…So, I’m not going to even tell ya!).
I don’t understand. I thought they they don’t boot and tow for a parking meter ticket? Why was Sarah’s car booted and towed?
Lawrence Berezin says
There is no formal rule that prohibits a boot and tow for a “meter” violation. It is up to the discretion of the warrior. Plus, this particular evil warrior was aware of the confusion caused by the combination of signs and a legal parking holiday.
Thanks for the question, Steve.
Andrea Simon says
Larry, you provide an invaluable service. Because of your rational approach, I’d like to nominate you for head of the Department of Transportation in the new administration. Happy Thanksgiving!
Lawrence Berezin says
Hahaha…Andrea, I checked with my granddaughter Natalie. She said that I am going to be too busy picking her up from school. Thanks anyway. Regards, Larry
Christine Zall says
I’m trying to find out how many muni meters there are in Manhatttan, as well as has the city taken away any no standing/loading and unloading zones to add in more metered spaces. I would like to know the dates as well as have the times and prices increased on the metered parking times. We seem to be spending more on meter cards this year than ever before.
Lawrence Berezin says
I am sorry to report that your questions are beyond the scope of the blog and my very limited expertise.
Good luck in your quest.