What’s all this fuss about Re-designed NYC Parking Signs?
A few years ago the Evil Empire set out on an improbable mission, to make NYC parking signs understandable. “Be still my beating heart!” As expected, the NYC driving public was skeptical whether the signs would really be comprehensible and unambiguous.
Fast forward to the present. We had a chance to read ’em and weep or jump for joy. Are you a jumper or a weeper?
This post is for all of us weepers. Hopefully, you will come away with a better understanding of what three of the re-designed NYC parking signs really mean.
Commercial Meter Sign
Here’s the Rule, 4:08 (l)(3)(ii)
(l) Blue zone, midtown, and other special zones
(3) Special midtown rule: standing time limit.
(i) Between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., daily except Sundays, from 14th to 60th Streets, 1st to 8th Avenues, all inclusive, in the Borough of Manhattan no operator shall stand a vehicle or combination of vehicles for the purpose of making pickups, deliveries or service calls in any one block of streets herein designated for a period of more than three hours unless otherwise posted. A vehicle or combination of vehicles not being used for expeditious pickups, deliveries or service calls is deemed to constitute a parked vehicle subject to parking rules applicable to that particular location. Section 4-08 31
The meaning of the Rule
-Only motor vehicles with commercial plates can park Monday-Friday, between 10 am and 2 pm, for 3 hours total on a single block
-All other plates can park Monday-Friday before 10 am and after 2 pm. On Saturdays and Sundays, all plates can park all hours (commercial plates are always limited to three consecutive hours in one parking space)[Larry’s comment: We are only considering the commercial meter sign. Pretend the other signs attached to the Gotcha Pole don’t exist. Wouldn’t parking be a breeze without ’em?].
One indispensable element on this re-designed NYC parking sign was the addition of the words, “OTHERS NO STANDING.” Those three little words are crucial to making the re-designed commercial meter signs understandable.
I started getting parking tickets from clients who parked in spaces that were regulated by Commercial Meter signs, except, the signs omitted, “OTHERS NO STANDING.”
I argued that without those three little words, the commercial meter signs were not understandable. The parking ticket judges agreed with me and dismissed the tickets. I won with that defense consistently.
Sadly, parking ticket judges have found my three clients guilty when I raised this defense (coincidence or new policy mandate?). These guilty finds are absolutely wrong, without changing the language on the sign or amending the rule. Unfair? Of course. Surprising? Nope. But, I’m going to continue to fight this injustice and appeal the bad decisions.
Here’s a portion of my argument on appeal in one of my cases:
“The original judge agreed with my certified testimony that the language on the Commercial Vehicles Only sign omitted the language, “Others No Standing,” but concluded it didnʼt matter because a sign without this language was not confusing.
Yet, NYC spent millions of dollars, an enormous amount of time, and the DOT supervised a herculean effort to replace all the old parking signs with redesigned signs to make parking signs understandable. The DOT approved the language that was supposed to be displayed on the re-designed commercial meter signs. Under these circumstances, why would the DOT install a parking sign that omitted the approved language? Or, worse, allow an old version of the commercial meter sign to remain? Or worse yet, allow judges to opine that the new language on the re-designed commercial meter signs, “OTHERS NO STANDING,” really doesn’t matter. And, the absence of these three little words is no biggie.”
Truck Loading Only Sign
Here’s the rule, 4-08(k)(2)
“(k) Special rules for commercial vehicles.
The meaning of the rule:
Standing is limited to commercial or service vehicles in parking spaces regulated by this sign. No passenger vehicles allowed.
When there are no specific days/hours displayed on the sign, it means the rule is in effect all days and all hours.
Sadly, last year the Evil Empire added the words, “Truck Loading Only” to the rule, thereby eliminating my defense. But, the Evil Empire did it the right way by recognizing their mistake and amending the rule instead of letting or ordering the judges to play games (as with the Commercial Meter Sign).
That is why you should always check the wording in the applicable rule to make sure the language displayed on the sign followed the mandates of the rule.
Authorized Vehicles Only Sign
Here’s the rule, 4-08(c)(4)
(c) Violation of posted no standing rules prohibited. When official signs, markings or traffic-control devices have been posted prohibiting, restricting or limiting the standing of vehicles, no person shall stand or park any vehicle in violation of the restrictions posted on such signs, markings or traffic-control devices, except as otherwise provided herein:
(4) Authorized vehicles. Except as provided in paragraph (8) of this subdivision, where a posted sign reads “No Standing Except Authorized Vehicles” or “Authorized Vehicles Only”, no vehicles, except those designated by such sign, may stand or park in that area.
The meaning of the rule:
Standing is restricted to motor vehicles from a designated agency. The designated agency’s name must be displayed on the sign (and entered on a parking ticket)
I have never been one to adhere to conspiracy theories, but, it is not right or just to find NYC driver’s guilty of violating the rules displayed on parking signs that omit the language mandated by the Evil Empire to be understandable. The mission to re-design parking signs was shouted from the roof-tops and enjoyed wide-spread publicity in the media. Here’s a great article by the designers from Pentagram.
How can the Evil Empire allow the PVB judges to enter guilty verdicts when the indispensable three little words are missing?
Here is some of the publicity:
Learn the rules and how they’re displayed on the NYC re-designed parking signs.
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