Last Updated on October 20, 2021 by Lawrence Berezin
How to avoid parking tickets for NYC curb cuts, sidewalks, and driveways
I have received a remarkable number of questions about the parking rules for NYC curb cuts, sidewalks, and driveways. For example:
- Is the curb cut part of the driveway?
- Did a homeowner have a permit to install a curb cut in front of their driveway?
- Is the curb part of the sidewalk or roadway?
- Is it illegal to park in front of all curb cuts
- And more.
In short, here are some of Larry’s answers to frequently asked questions about NYC curb cuts, driveways, and sidewalks.
Is a curb cut part of a driveway?
Definitions for driveway state:
“Every entrance or exit authorized under applicable law and used by vehicular traffic to or from lands or buildings abutting a roadway.”
“(2) Driveways. In front of a public or private driveway, except that it shall be permissible for the owner, lessor, or lessee of the lot accessed by a private driveway to park a passenger vehicle registered to them at that address in front of such driveway, provided that such lot does not contain more than two dwelling units and further provided that such parking does not violate any other provision of the Vehicle and Traffic Law or local law or rule concerning the parking, stopping or standing of motor vehicles.
The prohibition herein shall not apply to driveways that have been rendered unusable due to the presence of a building or other fixed obstruction and, therefore, are not being used as defined in §4-01(b) of these rules.”
Did a homeowner have a permit to install a curb cut in front of their property?
That is to say, a recurrent question raised by a member of the driving public after getting a parking ticket for standing in front of a driveway is, was the curb cut legal? Was the driveway legal? Welp, I’m glad you asked because there is a way to find the answer. Here’s a link to a resource entitled,
How do we know if the curbcut is legal?
Here are two NYC gov resources that allow you to check on permit/service requests:
Is the curb part of the sidewalk or roadway?
The curb is considered a part of the roadway and owned by the City of New York. The City accepts reports of curb conditions. You can report a curb that is damaged, illegally painted by a property owner to discourage parking, or illegally cut for a driveway. You must give the exact street address of the property where the condition exists.
Property owners should ensure the curb is maintained, because:
(1) It makes the sidewalk last longer. (2) A curb protects the sidewalk from vehicular traffic. (3) It channels water properly to catch basins. And (4) prevents erosion and ponding.
And a property owner should replace damaged or missing curbs simultaneously as the sidewalk is repaired, reconstructed, or installed.
Property owners are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their sidewalks. The City will inspect the condition of the curb and sidewalk at the location. If a sidewalk is found to be defective, will notify the owner.
Meanwhile, I’ve practiced law for 40 years, and this stuff still confuses me. Here’s another link to a helpful resource covering sidewalks and driveways.
Joe walked out of his house on a rainy Tuesday. Above all, he was late for his doctor’s appointment. To his dismay, a car parked in front of his driveway blocked his chariot from entering the roadway.
What was Joe to do? As a result, should he call the police? Call a tow truck? Where were the Warriors when you need ’em?
Enter your first name and email address to find out what Joe can do to eliminate the blockade!