I received this email:
I recently came across your “Parking Today Blog” when attempting to research accepted defense strategies as it relates to fighting parking violations.
The ticket I received was for parking on-street where it was designated for public school personal only during school hours and school days.
However, as tradition would have it I parked in this zone only during the summer months July / August. Traditionally those months coincide with the traditional school recess for the summer. The signs only mention no parking on school days from 7 am to 4 pm. Could it be reasonable and logical to park within this zone during those months in which it could be interpreted that school was in recess?
Furthermore, the neighborhood in which I reside is primarily residential and contains at least 6 public schools with parking zone restrictions as well as at least 4 weekdays in which alternate side parking rules are in effect. As you could imagine this neighborhood is highly restrictive in terms of on-street parking and the only respite for parking rules include the summer months in which school is in recess. After residing here for a period of time this is the first time I can remember in which NYPD Traffic ticketed within this zone during the months of July and August.
WOW! What to say? First of all, you need to find the rules. “Tradition” and “reason” have nothing to do with it. If in fact the rules are that there is no parking on “school days” then that’s it. If school is “out” during the summer and you got a ticket, then I assume the judge would rule in your favor. Perhaps there was simply a new officer on the beat who didn’t know the rules.
However, do you know the reason for these rules? Is it because that faculty and students are parking in the area and taking up spaces that should be used for residents? If you want to change them, you are most likely fighting an uphill battle.
The alternate side of the street restrictions are for street cleaning. Residents found in one neighborhood that when the rules were suspended (for a signage change), all parking hell broke loose. People stored cars on the streets and the “churning” caused by moving cars weekly went away. The residents demanded the alternate side rules be reinstated as soon as possible.
Gotta love those “laws of unintended consequences.