New York City


New York City Area Bulletin Board

New York City Complicated Sign Breakdown

Do big cities really make so much money off of parking tickets and towing cars?

More than you can imagine. Let’s use New York City as an example: According to the New York Times, in 2008 NYC issued 10 million parking tickets and collected $624 million in parking fines—more than it spends to run the Department of Transportation. NYC gives out an average of over 22,000 tickets a day! The vast majority are parking tickets issued in the borough of Manhattan and in the busier sections of Brooklyn. Most parking tickets will cost the recipient $115—and that’s without any late fees or penalties assessed. If your car is towed in NYC, it will cost you between $250–$300, depending on the cost of the ticket received for the infraction that resulted in the tow, and it will cost you even more if you don’t get your vehicle out the same day. Since Mayor Bloomberg took office in 2001, the number of parking tickets issued in NYC has increased 42%.

Can people really “fight City Hall” if they get a parking ticket or are towed in error?

If you were given a parking ticket and believe you didn't do anything wrong, or were towed when you were parked legally, you absolutely can challenge the ticket. If you need our help, please consult with The Parking Expert. In New York City especially, it is becoming harder to fight tickets, and only 22% of NYC motorists who challenged tickets in 2008 had them dismissed. The best strategy, obviously, is to not get a ticket in the first place.

Should I fight a ticket/tow if I was parked illegally?

If you are guilty of a parking infraction, it is naturally much more difficult to fight a parking ticket or a tow. There are, however, some instances where an infraction can be contested—especially if the ticket was filled out incorrectly by the officer who wrote it. If things like the date, time, location, or type of infraction and/or the make and model of your car are improperly filled out on the ticket, the ticket should be dismissed.

Are there other tips or tricks you have for finding the best places to park in big cities?

It’s difficult to generalize, but there are some good methods to find parking in the busiest sections of big cities—usually their downtown areas or business districts. For instance, instead of trying to park right in the middle of Midtown Manhattan, say, between Madison Avenue and 8th A venue, it’ s easier to find parking if you travel a little farther east or west, toward the edges of the island. Basically, even in places where there seems to be no street parking, there probably will be something available if you are willing to park a little farther away and walk a little bit more. Exercise is healthy, so kill two birds with one stone! Another tip: I f you call ahead to a parking garage, or go to their website and reserve ahead of time, you'll likely get a better rate.

What does it mean when a sign says “No Standing” ?

Standing actually means sitting! Specifically, it means that you are sitting behind the wheel in your parked vehicle.

What is the difference between No Standing and No Parking?

No Parking means that you can’t park your car and walk away, but you can stand in your car (see above). You can wait as long as you like while standing as long as you’re not asked to move by a police officer or traffic enforcement agent (you must move if asked). No Standing means that you can’t wait in your car for more than a few seconds (i.e., to drop off or pick up passengers).

How is No Stopping different than No Parking and No Standing?

No Stopping means exactly what it says—you can’t stop there at all, not even for one second!

What are commercial vehicles?

Commercial vehicles—generally vans and trucks that make deliveries—have special license plates. If you don’t have commercial license plates, you don’t have a commercial vehicle (no matter how big the vehicle is) and can’t park in spots designated for commercial vehicles.

In NYC, what is a Muni-Meter or “meter kiosk?"

Meter kiosks, found in many cities, are centralized meters that accept payment for designated parking spaces in the immediate area. Muni-Meters, usually one to a block, are centralized meters that are replacing the older meters at individual parking spaces. Muni-Meters accept payment for all the nearby parking spaces on the block. You put money in the machine (which usually takes credit cards and special parking cards, as well as cash) and get a receipt, which you put on your dash board facing up, so that the time at which you paid for parking and the amount of time you paid for are clearly visible.

In NYC, what are the regulations for handicapped parking ?

You must have a NYC handicapped parking sticker or placard (out-of-state and other NYS stickers/placards are not eligible) to qualify to use parking spaces designated for handicapped individuals in NYC. People with disabilities must apply for this special NYC handicapped parking permit. This permit allows the driver to park in all “No Parking” zones except those marked for taxis; “No Parking” and “No Standing” spaces authorized for doctors, press, diplomats, and government agencies; at parking meters for free; and in “No Standing–Trucks” zones, except during specified restricted hours. Parking is not allowed in other zones, at fire hydrants, bus stops, or crosswalks. To apply, call (718) 433-3100 or visit the Parking Authority online.

What do “Alternate side street cleaning rules” mean?

These rules refer to the time of day and days of the week when the streets are cleaned. During these days/times, one side of the street will not be eligible for parking. Often—though not always—parking will be allowed during all other days/times.

I hear about people who wait in their cars and sometimes double-park during the street-cleaning times. What’s the story with that?

Very often people will move their vehicles at the last minute before the prohibited time (when one is not allowed to park), and then wait for the street cleaner to go by, at which time they will drive back to the side where they started and wait for parking to be legal again before they leave their cars. Since the street cleaning sign says “No Parking,” people can legally stand (sit behind the wheel) while waiting for the magic minute when parking is again allowed. Double-parking is never legal and you run the risk of getting an expensive parking ticket anytime you do it. Sometimes police and traffic enforcement agents will look the other when people double-park while waiting for the street cleaner to go by, but it is not worth the risk.

What does “Alternate side of the street parking rules are suspended” mean?

These rules are suspended on all holidays recognized by the city. On these holidays, you may disregard these rules pertaining to street cleaning.

What does it mean when “all parking rules” are suspended? Can I really park anywhere?

Almost, but not quite. On the major holidays (Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc.) all parking rules except those that are always in effect are suspended. The rules that are always in effect usually include the word Anytime , i.e., “No Parking Anytime,” “No Standing Anytime,” “No Stopping Anytime,” etc.

Is there a list of the holidays when parking rules are suspended?

Check here at NYC's DOT for the most up-to-date parking suspension calendar.

Do I need to pay the parking meters when all parking rules are suspended?


What does it mean when a sign says “No Parking School Days”?

This refers to days that school is in session (including summer school). Very often there are hours associated with the rules, e.g., 7am–4pm. In this case you may not park during those hours on days that school is in session.

What does “feeding the meter” mean?

Many people think it is OK to continually go back to a parking meter and put in more money so that they can stay as long as they like. Lots of people get away with this, but it is not legal. If the sign says “2-hour metered parking 8am–7pm,” then during those hours you may only stay for 2 hours at a time. If you come back during a 2-hour maximum period and put in more money so that you can stay longer, this is termed “feeding the meter” and can get you an expensive parking ticket.

How much will it cost me if I get a parking ticket in NYC?

Most NYC parking tickets cost $115, although the range is from $65–$185.

How much will it cost me if my vehicle gets towed in NYC?

The cost of the tow is $185 if you get your vehicle out of the tow pound on the same day it is towed; add $20 per each additional day it is in the pound. On top of that, you will have to pay the parking ticket you got for whatever infraction you committed, which is usually another $115.

The parking signs indicate that it is legal to park in front of an apartment building, but the doorman told me I couldn’t park there. Was he right?

No, he was just trying to intimidate you. Whatever it says on the official parking signs is correct.

The official parking sign indicates that it is legal to park in front of a hotel, but there was a sign made by the hotel saying that I couldn’t park there. Which was right?

The official parking signs are always correct. Any signs that aren’t official are meaningless and unenforceable.

Does the color of the parking sign matter?

Not really. In most cities, certain regulations are associated with signs or lettering of a certain color, but what is important is what is on those signs. Don’t worry too much about the color—worry about whether or not a sign indicates that parking is legal where you hope to park.

How close to a crosswalk can I park?

You can park right up to a crosswalk, as long as no signs prohibit it.

Are there best days of the week to find parking on the street?

It is generally easier to find street parking on weekends than weekdays. Specifically, Sundays are the easiest of all, as there are a fair number of parking regulations that cover either Mondays through Fridays or Mondays through Saturdays.


©2012 Tired of Parking TIckets, Inc.