Parking is Snowed in…Except in New York


Parking is Snowed in…Except in New York

The recent storm has parking under attack all over the snow belt. Cities from Chicago to New York are dealing with the storm. Most have banned parking so plows can get in and remove the snow. Others have put certain snow rules into effect, and as usual the Big Apple gets the headlines for making a decision.

New York typically abandons its alternate side of the street rules during snow emergencies. This time, however, it felt the snow was so slight that the rules should remain in effect.  (The rules require drivers to move their cars weekly on a certain day so street sweepers can get in and clean the street. During heavy storms the rules are nullified because with all the snow, there is no place to which to move your car.)

Parkers thought that the rules should have been voided during the recent storm. The mayor first agreed with the departments of sanitation and transportation who left the rules in effect, and then changed his mind and voided the 4000 parking tickets given during the period to people who didn’t move their cars.

I can understand the problem hizzonner has.  If you don’t enforce the rules, people will break them. However I also understand the parkers.  Moving your car weekly is a continuing issues for parkers in the city. They can park for free, but must move their cars once a week.  Of course there is constant grumbling about the rule.  There has been a parking mystique built up over it. People camp in their cars on moving day so they can get spaces on the other side of the street. At exactly the right moment, the cars perform a massive ballet find their way to new spaces and life goes on.

The mayor, who by the way rides the subway, first noted that it would have been great for people to sleep in during the storm, however that they should just get up and go move their cars. The latter reneged after an uproar from the populace.

I’m agnostic on this one.  I don’t live in the city and frankly if I did I would either garage my car or if I couldn’t afford it, find another place to put it.  Life is too short to have it ruled by a car and a place to park it. However many people do fight the weekly battle. Its life in the big city.

I don’t know enough about parking issues in Manhattan or the surrounding boroughs to comment intelligently, but I do know that parking is one of the most emotive, if not THE most emotive topic in New York City. My guess is that the politician who comes up with an idea to solve the parking issues in New York will have a job for life.


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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