NYC parking nightmare could get worse, fines for painting curbs

Driving in New York City is hard enough, try finding a parking space. Some residents will try anything to secure a good spot, including, apparently, painting the curb a different color.

According to the New York Times, officials are considering higher fines for people who do it, calling it "street defacement." The fine now stands at $50, but could jump to $250.

Parking in the Big Apple is already big business, says lawyer Larry Berezin. He runs the website NewYorkParkingTicket.com,  which is dedicated to defending parking violators.

"Parking in New York City generates about $600 million in revenue and there's about nine million parking tickets issued a year," Berezin says.

Tickets are overseen by the Department of Finance, so New York has an incentive to keep that revenue flowing. As Berezin puts it, it's not about justice.

However, there are ways to effectively contest one of NYC's 99 parking violations.

"The mistake many New Yorkers make is that they fight it emotionally," Berezin says.

For example, hollering, "How dare you issue me a ticket?! I was just dropping my Aunt Tilly. She's 94 years old, and I got out of my car and walked across the street."

You can stop temporarily and let Aunt Tilly out at the curb, Berezin says, but you can't walk her across the street. "She's on her own. She lives in New York City... she's okay."

For a guide to deciphering New York City's complex parking signs, see the presentation here.

We asked you on Twitter what your parking and driving pet peeves were, and boy were you vocal. Add your own by commenting below or tweeting us @MarketplaceAPM.



About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

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