Urban traffic congestion is a world wide problem. The gravity of the problem increases with the rise in the number of vehicles. Traffic regulations along with practical and effective parking regulations are being used by cities to address their traffic congestion problems. These regulations are enforced for both convenience and safety reasons. Violations of these regulations attract penalties. Moreover, parking tickets fines significantly adds to municipal revenue. Complex traffic and parking regulations have now formed an integral part of our modern life.
Traffic regulation in New York
Traffic regulations including parking regulations in New York are prescribed by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. These regulations are codified in The New York Vehicle and Traffic Law, Title VII Rules of the Road, Article 32.[i] The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles prescribes parking regulations in New York State. However, New York has a separate Traffic Violations Bureau to handle non-criminal moving traffic violations. Further, parking violations are handled by the local parking violations bureau or court.
The authority to enforce the parking rules vests with police officers, or in a city having a population in excess of one million any person designated by the commissioner of traffic of such city or on highways under the jurisdiction of the New York state thruway authority, the office of parks and recreation, a county park commission, a parkway authority, a bridge authority or a bridge and tunnel authority any person designated by such office, commission or authority in New York State.[ii] Parking regulations for certain concerned areas may be prescribed by the concerned authorities. For example, the State University of New York is authorized to regulate traffic and parking on all Stony Brook campuses. [iii]
Parking regulations in New York
Under the New York State parking regulations, “parking” is divided into three categories: parking, standing and stopping. (See, The New York Vehicle and Traffic Law, Title VII Rules of the Road, Article 32. Stopping, Standing, and Parking.) A “no parking” sign in an area means that one may only temporarily stop there to load or unload any merchandise or passengers. [iv] A “no standing” sign means one may only temporarily stop the vehicle there to load or unload passengers and one should not load or unload merchandise even temporarily in that area. [v]A “no stopping” sign means that one can stop a vehicle in that area only to obey a traffic sign, signal or officer or to avoid conflict with other vehicles. [vi]
Parking, standing or stopping of vehicles are not allowed in the following areas and circumstances:[vii]
- Within 5 meters of a fire hydrant, unless a licensed driver remains in a vehicle to move it in an emergency
- On the side of a parked vehicle; this is also known as double parking.
- On sidewalks or in crosswalks.
- In an intersection, unless any sign or parking meters permit such standing, stopping or parking.
- On railroad tracks.
- Alongside or opposite road excavations, construction or other obstructions if the parked; standing or stopped vehicle would block traffic.
- Within 30 feet (10 m) of a pedestrian safety zone, unless another distance is marked in the area for such stopping, standing or parking.
- On a bridge or in a tunnel.
In New York State, parking or standing of vehicles are not allowed in these areas[viii]:
- In front of a driveway.
- Within 20 feet (6 m) of a crosswalk at an intersection.
- Within 30 feet (10 m) of a traffic light, STOP sign or YIELD signs.
- Within 20 feet (6 m) of a fire station driveway, or within 75 feet (23 m) on the opposite side of the road.
- Along a curb that has been cut down, lowered or constructed for access to the sidewalk.
In addition, under New York Sate parking regulations one may not park their vehicle within 50 feet of a railroad crossing.[ix]
New York State parking regulations also provide reserved parking facilities for people with disabilities. These facilities can only be used by persons having a permit for people with disabilities. [x] Additionally, a disabled person should be present in that vehicle at the time of parking.[xi] It is illegal to park in spaces reserved for the disabled without the required permit or license plates. [xii] Out of state vehicles with such permits are given similar reservations. [xiii]
[i] NY Veh & Tr § 1200 et.seq. (Stopping, Standing, and Parking)
[ii] NY Veh & Tr § 1204
[iii] 8 NYCRR § 584.1
[iv] NY Veh & Tr § 1200
[v] NY CLS Veh & Tr § 1200
[vi] NY CLS Veh & Tr § 1200
[vii] NY Veh & Tr § 1204
[viii] NY Veh & Tr § 1204
[ix] NY Veh & Tr § 1204
[x] NY Veh & Tr § 1203-a
[xi] NY CLS Veh & Tr § 1203-a
[xii] NY CLS Veh & Tr § 1203-b
[xiii] NY CLS Veh & Tr § 1203-d