How to avoid a parking ticket for standing in front of NYC curb cuts, sidewalks, and driveways
I have received a remarkable number of questions about the parking rules related to NYC curb cuts, sidewalks, and driveways. For example:
- Is the curb cut in front of driveway 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…
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?
Yes. 4-08 (1)(b)Definitions_Drivway states:
(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 him/her 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.
After reading the definition of driveway and rule prohibiting standing in front of a driveway, it is totally reasonable to conclude that a curb cut is part of a driveway…And, please don’t park in front of it.
Did a homeowner have a permit to install a curb cut in front of their driveway?
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 I know if a curb cut is legal?” Click on the link and you will be transported to the NYC Government website. Click on the building information systems link. When you land on the next web page, complete the information called for by the building information search. Seek and ye shall find and maybe even beat a parking ticket.
Is the curb part of the sidewalk or roadway?
The curb is considered to be 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, as it:
● Facilitates the life of the sidewalk
● Protects the sidewalks from vehicular traffic
● Channels water properly to catch basins
● Prevents erosion and ponding
Missing or damaged curbs should be replaced at the same time as the sidewalk is repaired, reconstructed, or installed.
The City will inspect the condition of the curb and sidewalk at the location. Property owners are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their sidewalk. If a sidewalk is found to be defective, the property owner will be notified.
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.
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