There’s a new form of tax that was invented by our brilliant businessman/mayor, Mike Bloomberg. It goes like this: Take a parking sign (example, right) and make it so complicated, or totally incomprehensible, that a good percentage of motorists will get a ticket and pony up piles of cash to the City’s coffers. For example, this typical sign, located midtown, on Third Avenue, requires a legal expert to interpret it, and his or her opinion will still be open to challenge. (There must be a secret society of Harvard MBAs hired to dream these signs up and then change them, just as you think you might comprehend them.) If the sign is read from the bottom to the top, it permits a “Consul-C and Diplomat–A & D” to park or stand. But does it mean that the license plate must show both, or one or the other, and does it mean that they, or it, can park or only stand at any time? Also, the vehicle must have a “Delivery Decal” to park or stand for up to 30 minutes. But does that mean that the Delivery Vehicle must also have “Consul-C and/or Diplomat–A & D” to park or stand, as well, or is a “Delivery Decal” or “Consul-C and Diplomat–A & D” each, alone, sufficient? If it has “Consul-C and/or Diplomat–A & D” plates, can the vehicle park or stand for only 30 minutes? Can it do so without a “Delivery Decal”? Do any of the above restrictions pertain to the area of the curb to the right of the sign only, or do they cover the left and right? Moving up the sign, are all vehicles restricted from standing to the right of the sign between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, or are the above-stated vehicles exempted, whatever they are, during that time? But wait a minute, the top of the sign restricts vehicles from standing on both the right and left of the sign between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday! However, does this restriction include “Consul-C and/or Diplomat–A & D” and/or “Delivery Decal” vehicles, or are they exempted by the lower portion of the sign? Can any one of the exempted vehicles park or stand more than 30 minutes? If so, which ones? When can any vehicles park or stand, during non-restricted times?
Enjoy The Sheet.
This is exhausting, and while attempting to decipher signs like these all around the City, you will surely be late for your appointment. Moreover, since time is money in this great city, you should probably just park, get a ticket, and cut your losses … it just ain’t worth it. If it doesn’t have a “Tow-Away” sign, you might as well just take your chances. Look at it this way, on the positive side, if you do get a ticket, you’re supporting a great city, and the City needs the cold cash. The alternatives are to hire a $400-an-hour lawyer to tell you if you can park, or you can just forget reading signs altogether, or lastly, you can submit to brain surgery and add some additional gray matter to your cranium. However, remember the old cliché: “You can’t fight City Hall.” Just pony up the cash.
Written by Joan Jedell in collaboration with David Jedell, Attorney at Law
Joan Jedell appears on national and local tv and radio.
Her photographs are syndicated worldwide.