A sidewalk parking ticket costs $115
Ouch! That’s a lot of money to pay for a momentary lapse of judgment. During the past couple of weeks, I’ve received a bunch of calls and comments about sidewalk parking tickets. Can these evil tickets be beaten?
Yes, they can. But, the first and absolutely critical step is to know the rule and how it’s enforced.
The basics: The definition and rule
A sidewalk is defined for parking ticket purposes as:
A “sidewalk” shall mean that portion of a street, whether paved or unpaved, between the curb lines or the lateral lines of a roadway and the adjacent property lines intended for the use of pedestrians. Where it is not clear which section is intended for the use of pedestrians, the sidewalk will be deemed to be that portion of the street between the building line and the curb. [See, Definitions, 4-01]
You’ll find your first winning defense in the language of the definition. You are only prohibited from stopping, standing or parking your chariot on:
- That portion of a sidewalk intended for use by pedestrians
- Between the curb and the adjacent property lines (or between the building line and the curb)
Let’s see what the means in Parking Ticket Land.
Larry fought the law and won a sidewalk case
The defense was that my client parked his car on a portion of the sidewalk that was not located between the curb and property line and was not intended for use by pedestrians.
We won! Here’s what the judge had to say:
How about parking with two tires on the curb?
According to the Evil Empire, a curb is part of the roadway, not the sidewalk
You would think that parking a car with two tires resting on the curb was legal, based on the definition. But, this is a defense that the Evil Empire will not accept (I tried and lost). My humble opinion is that the judge’s think that a photograph can be easily manipulated after the ticket is issued to show a car parked on the curb.
I would check the comment section on the parking ticket to see if the Warrior or Cop noted one or two tires parked on the curb. In this case, I think we’d beat the ticket.
I stopped temporarily on the sidewalk while exiting my driveway
The thrill of victory and agony of defeat. I’ve raised this defense and won. I’ve raised this defense and lost. Why? In my humble opinion, the results are different because the judge’s and their outlooks were different.
The important argument to make is that you were actively driving out of the driveway and stopped on the sidewalk with your rear tires ________ [resting or not resting] on the sidewalk while the front of your car was in the street waiting for traffic in the roadway to pass. But, never, ever think you can leave your car on the sidewalk and run back into the house to potty up or grab your wallet.
Here’s an example of a case I lost at the original hearing and is now on appeal
We are waiting for the appeal’s decision
Sidewalk parking tickets are challenging to beat.
I’ve beaten a bunch of tickets for residents of Queens who parked their car on the sidewalk on their own private property (between the curb and their property line) or not in an area intended for pedestrian use.
But, you must present the proper proof, properly and the necessary proof isn’t always easy to secure.
My best advice, don’t park your car on the sidewalk, even in front of a car repair shop.
Now that you’re an expert on sidewalk rules and defenses, how about double parking? Do you think it wise to double park?[Larry’s note: There is a public easement to walk on the sidewalk that abuts property owned by private citizens. But, the definition for purposes of stopping, standing and parking in NYC does not prohibit stopping, standing or parking on an area not intended for pedestrian use or located between the curb and property (or building) line. Different strokes for different rules and laws].
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