Have you gotten a parking ticket in a truck loading only area?
Once upon a time, a long time ago (2013), the good witch of Parking Ticket Land convinced the powers to be that it was time to simplify NYC parking signs, including the No Standing Except Trucks Loading and Unloading sign. The result was an announcement from the DOT:
New York City’s Transportation Department said it was replacing more than 6,000 parking signs with an easier-to-follow alternative, creating ‘more breathing room’ (white space), eliminating a color (sorry, blue), and reducing the number of characters needed to explain the rules to a Twitter-friendly 140 (from 250).
But what about the iconic No Standing Except Trucks Loading and Unloading sign? Did it get a facelift? And, was the facelift effective?
Introducing the redesigned, No Standing Except Trucks and Unloading sign.
Here’s the old, disorienting sign:
Here’s the new sign:
All you see are the three little words, Truck Loading Only.
But, what you don’t see is:
-It is a no standing sign, which means you can stop temporarily to expeditiously drop off or pick up passengers to or from the curb, and then leave immediately. But, you cannot load or unload property (like your groceries) in a no standing zone.
-Since the above sign doesn’t display days and hours, the truck loading only rule is in effect all days and all hours
Here’s the Rule
(k) Special rules for commercial vehicles.
(2) No standing except trucks loading and unloading.
Where a posted sign reads “No Standing Except Trucks Loading and Unloading” or [“Truck Loading Only”], no vehicle except a commercial vehicle or a service vehicle as defined in §4-01(b) of these rules, may stand or park in that area, for the purpose of expeditiously making pickups, deliveries or service calls, and except that in the area from 35th St. to 41st St., Avenue of the Americas to 8th Avenue, inclusive, in the Borough of Manhattan, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., no vehicle except a truck as defined in §4-13(a)(1) of these rules may stand or park for the purpose of expeditiously making pickups, deliveries, or service calls
The DOT made a “huge” mistake
The DOT did a great job of eliminating a plethora of words on the old No Standing Except Trucks Loading and Unloading sign to get down to a three-word sign, “Truck Loading Only.” But, they forgot to amend the rule to match the new, weight watcher’s version of the sign.
The language limited the rule to SIGNS THAT READ, “No Standing Except Trucks Loading and Unloading.” Well, the redesigned signs only displayed those three little words, “Truck Loading Only.” Ergo, the redesigned sign didn’t match the language in the rule and was neutered.
I fought a number of Truck Loading Only parking tickets and based my defense on the fact that the language on the redesigned sign did not match the rule and therefore, was unenforceable. Yay! That lasted for about one year until the DOT got wise and amended the rule to add those three little words, “Truck Loading Only.” Currently, the redesigned sign matches the amended rule and things were copacetic in Parking Ticket Land.
How about that!
The takeaway is that it pays to read the rule when preparing to dispute a parking ticket.
Here’s another story
A wonderful doctor client of mine pulled into a parking space regulated by a truck loading only sign across the street from the hospital. The doctor’s parking rule is in effect across the street from a hospital and permits parking in no parking areas. But, prohibits parking in no standing areas.
The redesigned truck loading only sign did not alert the doctor that it was a no standing sign and guess what, our wonderful doctor friend got a parking ticket.
Fair or foul? Should the Evil Empire reasonably expect a driver to know that a truck loading only sign is a no standing sign?
We fought the ticket. I’ll let you know the result when I get the news.
I recommend that when you get a parking ticket and decide to fight the good fight, read the rule [a reference to 4-08 ( )( )]. You may find information in the rule itself that helps you beat the evil ticket. It’s not sufficient to check out the Violation Code.