Volume 23, Number 10 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | July 16 - 22, 2010

Transit Sam

Dear Transit Sam,  
As a follow up to last Transit Sam’s article, if there’s signage at a discontinued bus stop where the old schedules were posted that states, “This location is no longer a bus stop,” does that mean we can park in the bus stop? Would I still be susceptible to a summons?  
Greg, Lower Manhattan
Dear Greg, 
Here’s the rub:  valid temporary signs need to say when parking is permitted or not permitted in the form of a “No Parking Anytime” or “Parking allowed at all times.”  Saying this is “No longer a bus stop” does not say what the rule is for that stretch of curbside.  Technically you’re still susceptible to a summons, but don’t fret if that happens. My sources tell me that traffic agents have been instructed not to issue tickets at the now defunct bus stops (they have a list of all 550+ stops no longer in use). Should you receive a ticket, I’m also told that the Department of Finance (which also has that list) will dismiss any ticket for parking in a bus stop no longer in use. Keep a watchful eye over the next month as the Department of Transportation removes bus stop signs and in some cases replaces them with new regulations.
 Transit Sam  

Dear Transit Sam,  
When I owned a car in the 1980s, I sometimes parked on the streets of Tribeca when it was still a thriving industrial/manufacturing neighborhood. While investigating the peculiarities of this neighborhood’s parking regulations, I came across a section in an official Traffic Handbook that stated, “perpendicular parking including parking up into the sidewalk was illegal, except in Tribeca, where there are curb cuts and loading docks.” (Unfortunately, I don’t have the handbook anymore)  In those days, trucks would frequently back up into a loading dock in order to make unloading easier for porters. Is this rule still in effect?  If so, does that mean that in Tribeca people can park perpendicular to the curb as well as horizontally?  If so, it would produce more parking spots.  
Sean, Soho

Dear Sean, 
I’ve found nothing in the current rules that refers to a special Tribeca parking regulation. I’d like to see a copy of your handbook, because I don’t recall such a rule nor did my fellow old-timers. NYC Traffic Rule 4-08 (k) (3) is the only one I found regarding angle parking for commercial vehicles:  

“Commercial vehicles standing or parking in authorized areas shall not be placed at an angle to the curb unless such positioning is essential for loading or unloading and then only for such period of time actually required for such purposes provided that a sufficient space shall be left clear for the passage of a vehicle between the angle-parked vehicle and the center of the street, the opposite curb or a vehicle parked or standing thereat, whichever is closest. In no event shall an angle-parked vehicle occupy more than a parking lane, plus one traffic lane.”  

During my tenure at NYC Department of Transportation in the 1970s and 1980s, I recall Greenwich St., which was very wide, being used by trucks parking perpendicularly to the curb. After Independence Plaza was built in the mid-1970s there were few trucking services left, but the practice continued. As the area became more residential in the 1980s, I made the decision to narrow the roadway and widen the sidewalks and perpendicular parking was no longer allowed. There were a couple of blocks just south of Chambers St. that were never narrowed.  Perpendicular parking was allowed there until about ten years ago or so.
Transit Sam 

Tell me how the MTA service cuts are affecting your day-to-day commutes! Transit Sam wants to know! E-mail me at TransitSam@downtownexpress.com or write Transit Sam, c/o SSE, 611 Broadway, Suite 415, NY, NY, 10012.


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