Last Updated on July 11, 2021 by Lawrence Berezin
Learn how to resolve conflicting parking rules
There is a growing number of conflicting parking rules attached to gotcha poles throughout NYC. The stakes are high when you’re confronted with a vacant parking space accompanied by confusing rules and white lines on the street that may prohibit parking. You only have 2-3 seconds to decide whether to park or not to park. How do you resolve the question?
A simple system to beat a parking ticket trap
– No and Yes on the same pole. When a “gotcha pole” displays more than one parking rule, always, every time remember, No wins. For example, if you find a no standing, anytime sign and a no standing 7A-4P sign perched on the same pole, obey the no standing anytime rule. No trumps Yes, always
– No and Yes on different poles. When there are more than one gotcha poles on a block, and one pole in front of your car displays a rule that prohibits parking M-F 7A-4P and the second pole to the rear of your chariot prohibits parking anytime, the no parking anytime wins
– A sign says Yes, and a safety zone says No. A safety zone beats a parking sign that permits parking. A safety zone trumps a parking sign. Never, ever park in a safety zone, even when a parking sign says Yes
– A sign says yes and a fire hydrant says no. This is a real parking conundrum because the plain language of the fire hydrant rule permits parking…within 15 feet of a fire hydrant if otherwise indicated by signs or parking meters. Tempting, yes! Should you park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant if there is a parking sign that permits one-hour parking? No. Why not? Because you’re going to get a ticket and probably lose the fight
– A sign says no and lines on the street say yes. Tough decision? Nope. If a sign says no standing and the lines on the street appear to delineate parking spaces…Fuggetabout the line. The sign wins every time.
– Check the direction(s) of the ARROW. A parking sign (rule) regulates the curb space in the direction of the arrow(s) until the next parking sign or if none, the end of the block. More than one parking rule may regulate the same curb space. No wins!
Examples of conflicting signs, rules, and street markings
The Conflict. The red sign on top of the pole prohibits standing anytime in both directions. However, the white sign below permits one-hour parking to the left of the gotcha pole. The white lines directly in front of the pole appear to create space on the roadway that welcomes parking.
This is an ambush. No and Yes on the same pole will shock and awe most drivers. But, No always trumps yes. The red sign that prohibits standing in both directions wins. Fuggetabout the white sign that says, Yes, and the lines on the roadway that appear to welcome parking.
The Conflict. The red sign prohibits standing during certain days/hours and the white sign limits parking to trucks loading only. This is a confusing sign. It really means that standing is permitted for trucks loading and unloading M-F between 4P-7P in both directions. All other vehicles can stand safely before 4P and after 7P M-F, all day Saturday and Sunday. Campeche?
However, some rogue warriors are misinterpreting this sign to permit trucks to stand while actively engaged in loading and unloading in the curb space regulated by this sign…Hogwash! These co-joined signs are really the current version of the old, No Standing, except trucks loading and unloading sign/rule.
The conflict. A fire hydrant and white lines on the street. This is one heck-of-a major trap. A fire hydrant is lurking at the curb, but it is separated from the white lines by a bicycle lane. And, the white lines seem to outline parking spaces.
First, the 15 feet no fly zone between a fire hydrant and your chariot is a 360 degrees prohibition…it is enforced in all directions. Left right, front and back. Yikes.
Second, you gotta measure the distance between the fire hydrant and your car, despite the fact that the white lines seem to indicate that the Evil Empire has already measured the distance…Wrong!
The conflict. The top red sign says No (All days/hours between April 1- Sept 30 8A – 10P) while the bottom sign says No, but only on Tuesdays between 11:30A to 1P. The trap was set and sadly, many members of driving public took the bait.
A confusing factor is a street cleaning rule for several hours on Tuesdays, and a signpost that leads drivers to believe other days are fine, despite the “No Standing April-September 30, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.” sign on top of the pole.
No means no and always trumps Yes.
[Larry’s comment: Quite frankly, I don’t see the trap. The red sign may be a bit unusual, but it clearly prohibits standing during the times/days/months displayed. The fact that the white sign prohibits parking during street cleaning hours on Tuesdays doesn’t kill the rule displayed on the red sign above. In Parking Ticket Land, 2 No’s don’t make a Yes].
The conflict. The white sign at the bottom of the gotcha pole permits one-hour parking to the left of the pole. The safety zone says No. Who wins? The safety zone, every time.
Don’t let the Evil Empire win. These simple rules empower you to take back control of the roadways and avoid or beat NYC parking tickets.
-No always beats Yes, whether No is displayed by a parking rule on a sign, or by white lines on the street.
-When in doubt, skedaddle and save your money for stuff that benefits you
Continue to be vigilant to avoid old enemies like:
-Legal Curb cuts versus Pedestrian Ramps