Last Updated on August 24, 2021 by Lawrence Berezin
Sidewalk parking tickets cost $115
Ouch! Sidewalk parking tickets hurt. Moreover, during the past couple of weeks, I’ve received a bunch of calls and comments about sidewalk parking violations. Can you beat this evil ticket?
Yes. But, the first and critical step is to learn the rule and how it’s enforced.
The sidewalk definition and rule
A “sidewalk” is defined for parking ticket purposes as:
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]
4-08(e) General no stopping zones (stopping, standing and parking prohibited in specified places).
No person shall stop, stand, or park a vehicle in any of the following places, unless otherwise indicated by posted signs, markings or other traffic control devices, or at the direction of a law enforcement officer, or as otherwise provided in this subdivision:
(3) Sidewalks. On a sidewalk.
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)
Meanwhile, let’s see what this means in Parking Ticket Land.
Larry fought the law and beat a sidewalk parking ticket
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.
The thrill of victory and agony of defeat
I’ve raised this defense and won. But, I’ve raised this defense and lost. Why? In my humble opinion, the results are different because the judges 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
Dear Honorable Judge,
I hereby certify as follows:
I plead not guilty to this parking violation because:
-The place of occurrence was misdescribed
Driving my car out of my parent’s driveway, located at 33-25 101 Street in Queens, (which was the property next door to the place of occurrence. However, the misdescribed place of occurrence, 33-23 101 Street in Queens, did not have a driveway
-driving my car out of my parent’s driveway, next door to the place of occurrence, I did not stop on the sidewalk.
The front end of my car in the street and my rear tires on the concrete pavement adjacent to the roadway while I looked around to make sure no traffic was coming before entering the street.The traffic agent issued this ticket while I was stopped waiting to enter the roadway
-Lack of proper service
The traffic agent did not enter my name on the parking ticket even though I was sitting behind the wheel of my car when this ticket was issued
I have submitted a series of exhibits in support of my defenses.
Due to these circumstances, please dismiss this parking ticket.
-I hereby certify that my testimony is the truth to the best of my knowledge. And, fully understand that if my testimony is willfully false, I am subject to punishment
Certify that the images contained in the exhibits are true and accurate reproductions of the original parking ticket, Google Maps, NYC Map, and the DOF Digital Tax Map
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 building and their property line) or not in an area intended for pedestrian use.
But, you must present the proper proof, properly and the proof isn’t always easy to secure.
My best advice is, 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].