By Sam Schwartz
Dear Transit Sam,
I received a ticket on Riverside Drive for parking in the stop line, but not in the crosswalk. Any suggestions on how I should fight this ticket? See picture attached.
AZaugg, DTE reader from Pennsylvania
Based on the pictures you provided me (see one, at right), you shouldn’t have been issued a summons. The first line, the stop line, is intended for moving vehicles, not parked vehicles. It’s a safety matter. Stop bars are used to help reduce pedestrian and vehicular crashes. As regular Downtown Express readers know, I’ve received numerous letters from Transit Sam readers in Lower Manhattan, the Bronx and now Upper Manhattan. In your not guilty plea, take a few more photos to establish the location where you parked and include a copy of this column. In the meantime, I’ll send a copy over to N.Y.P.D.’s Parking Enforcement District as a friendly reminder on how the law should (or in this case shouldn’t) be enforced.
Dear Transit Sam,
I was driving near the Brooklyn Bridge when I was entering a turning lane to make a left. My question is, do you have to signal when you enter a “left turn only” lane? I would guess no since you’re entering a turning lane anyway. Plus, if you decided to stay straight, you’d be breaking the law.
Jacob, South Street Seaport
Hate to break it to you, but you guessed wrong. Turning lanes are implemented to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion in the intersection from a backup of cars trying to make a difficult turn. Signaling, in a turning lane, warns oncoming drivers that you may turn in front of them. The turning lane may not be obvious to them. There is no exception in the V.T.L. to not signal in turning lanes. Therefore the law, N.Y.S. Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1163, which specifies turning movements and required signals, is in effect.
Send any and all comments, questions or concerns to TransitSam@downtownexpress.com. We’ll get to the bottom of all your downtown transit related needs.
Sam Schwartz, a former first deputy commissioner of city transportation, is president and C.E.O. of Sam Schwartz Engineering, a traffic engineering consulting firm to private and public entities including the Port Authority at the World Trade Center site.