Will issuing blocking the box tickets significantly reduce traffic congestion?
In an effort to meaningfully cut down on traffic congestion, Mayor DeBlasio initiated a program called, “Clear Intersections.” His strategy is to boost enforcement of blocking the box tickets, and:
- Target fifty intersections for stricter enforcement
- Install signs that say, “Don’t Block the Box”
- Add 50 extra cops at the fifty intersections
- Adding an “X” in the box
All in the name of reducing congestion
Will the mayor’s efforts bear fruit or simply more revenue?
Check out this excellent NBC4NY video report
Here’s a wonderful interactive map of the fifty intersections
The blocking the box parking violation
4-08(e)(12) Obstructing traffic at an intersection.
When vehicular traffic is stopped on the opposite side of an intersection, no person shall drive a vehicle into such intersection, except when making a turn, unless there is adequate space on the opposite side of the intersection to accommodate the vehicle the person is driving, notwithstanding the indication of a traffic control signal which would permit the person to proceed
Here’s a list of the fifty-intersections. Simply click on the link below (courtesy of NBC4NY)
What the Rule means
When a car is stopped at the intersection for a red light and the traffic light changes to green or when a driver reaches an intersection and the light is already green, if traffic is stopped on the opposite side of the box a driver is supposed to look across the intersection and determine whether there is enough space for her car to fit “outside the box.” If there is room for her car, she is permitted to enter the intersection. If not, regardless of whether the light is green or red, she must stop and wait for space to open up for her car “outside the box.” (Unless a driver is turning).
This poses a major challenge to drivers at busy intersections in NYC. How many of us have stopped at an intersection on a green light because there wasn’t enough room for our car on the opposite side of a congested box only to hear the blare of horns behind us shouting, “move or else!” Yikes!
A blocking the box ticket is triggered by a driver who enters an intersection when traffic is stopped on the opposite side of the box and without sufficient space on the opposite side of the box for their chariot. In other words:
- Was traffic stopped on the opposite side of the box? If so,
- Was there room for your car on the opposite side of the box? If not, don’t enter the intersection!
[Larry’s comment: The red cars in the above diagram are blocking the box]
How to beat a blocking the box ticket
I’m afraid it ain’t easy to beat this evil parking ticket.
[alert type=”info” icon-size=”normal”]Here are some tips:[/alert]
- Always check for omitted, misdescribed, or illegible required elements
- Your name must be entered on the parking ticket (generally, Warriors will enter, “refused” even if you didn’t. And, generally, the judge’s will believe the Warrior that you refused)
- If the Warrior or Cop enters your first or last name, only, I would fight it and argue that the rule doesn’t limit the name to first or last only. Full name is required
- If you claim to be turning, provide facts to support your claim. For example, testify where you were going and offer a Google Map showing that it would be necessary to turn at the intersection
Here’s a FREE E-book that will help you beat a blocking the box ticket.
A new sign, painting a big “X” in the box, adding more cops or warriors at fifty intersections, and handing out more tickets will never, ever solve the congestion problem. Period. End of story.
The solution is having more cops and warriors directing traffic at the intersection, rather than handing out tickets when the light turns red. Therein lies the cure.
To go or not to go is a tough decision to make at 5P at a chaotic NYC intersection with horns blaring when you dare to stop your car on a green light. On the other hand, when there is a cop or warrior directing traffic, the decision is made by a traffic enforcement official who most of us are wired to obey.
Instead, I hear stories of warriors standing on the opposite sidewalk or hiding under a hotdog truck watching the chaos unfold in the intersection. When the light turns red, they spring into action and issue as many $115 blocking the box tickets as possible to drivers who chose not to run down pedestrians who started crossing the street before the light changed. Nice.
Mayor DeBlasio, if you really want to defeat congestion and not just add revenue to the city treasury, authorize the cops and warriors to direct traffic at the intersection