Understanding an NYC parking sign is like reading an NFL defense
There are similarities between reading a football team’s defensive scheme and understanding an NYC parking sign. For example, a quarterback has 3 seconds or less to read a defense and release the ball. The driving public searching for a parking space has 3 seconds or less to understand a parking sign, and answer the question, can I park here?
Parking signs checklist
A pro quarterback is coached to check off his receivers. If the primary receiver is covered, he knows where to look for each secondary receiver. Here is a checklist to help you park safely.
- Red you’re dead: As a general rule, a red parking sign is a poison to the parking public. It generally says, NO PARKING, NO STANDING, or NO STOPPING…ANY TIME. Keep driving!
- One (1) “EXCEPT”: If a sign has one “except,” and you’re driving a private passenger vehicle, it generally means, move along little doggie. For example, a common “except” is No Standing “except” commercial vehicles. Or, No Standing “except” trucks loading or unloading. Or, No parking “except authorized vehicles.”
- Two (2) “EXCEPTS”: As a general rule, when you are confronted by a parking sign that says, NO PARKING, with two (2) “except,” look first at the days/hours after the second “except.” It generally designates the day/hours you are permitted to park. For example, NO STANDING, “except” commercial vehicles, 10AM to 4PM M-Fri, “except” Sunday means all motor vehicles are permitted to park without fear of receiving an NYC parking ticket and parking fine on the day after the second “except,” which in this example, is Sunday; and furthermore:
- Only commercial vehicles can park between the hours of 10 AM to 4 PM on Monday through Friday.
- All MOTOR VEHICLES ARE PERMITTED TO PARK ON MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY BEFORE 10 AM AND AFTER 4 PM
- addendum attached to Gotcha Poll
- ALL motor vehicles can park all day Saturday and Sunday
The three-headed monster on the gotcha pole
It takes five years for a pro quarterback to master his trade. It takes about the same amount of time for the driving public to understand the rules displayed by three parking signs on one pole. Here are some tips:
- Read the signs from top to bottom. The top sign is generally the most restrictive
- Look for the “red you’re dead” sign, and obey it! If it says no parking, anytime, no need to read any further. Move along little doggie
- Look for the one (1) “except” parking sign because it generally eliminates legal parking during certain days/hours for private passenger vehicle
- If it takes you more than 4-5 seconds to decide whether you can park safely, your pocket is starting to collapse, and you risk a “sack” by a parking ticket warrior charging you with double parking…My advice is to move along little doggie
Don’t forget the arrows
The arrow on the bottom of a sign designates the direction(s) of the parking space(s) regulated by the rule displayed on the parking sign. For example, if the arrow points to your left, the rule displayed on the parking sign regulates all the parking spaces to the left; UNTIL the next parking sign or the end of the block. Remember, one parking sign at the far end of the block may regulate your parking space. “The sign was far away” is not a defense to an NYC parking ticket.
You may wish to check out the redesigned sign guide below to compare total confusion with the just plain confusion.
I’m rooting for all of us.
Learning is relentless repetition. Here’s a guide to help you break the parking sign code, so it doesn’t break the bank.
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