Thursday, August 16, 2012

CAN I BLOCK MY OWN DRIVEWAY?


DEAR SERGEANT AL: A few weeks ago I was visiting a friend to park my car by blocking his driveway when at the end of the visit I found a parking ticket on my windshield issued by a ticket agent. Because I was visiting my friend, obviously he gave me permission to park there. Was the agent correct in issuing me a ticket and if not, what do I have to do to get the ticket dismissed? –HONESTLY I JOKED AROUND CIRCLING and KICKING YOUR DRIVEWAY.
DEAR HIJACK YOUR DRIVEWAY: Be careful with this because it depends what city you’re in as I went digging on the Internet to many city websites to find just about every city has their own rules when it comes to owners block parking in their own driveway. Let me further explain: New York City Traffic Rule s.4-08(f)(2) allows for owners to park in front of their driveways on the street (if you can find a driveway large enough to block and fit a car). The Los Angeles Municipal Code says: “Parking is prohibited in front of a public or private driveway (even your own driveway).” Boston: “DON’T Park in front of driveways, or extend your car from the driveway over the sidewalk or street.” In Chicago and Houston you need to apply for a permit and a permit to block a driveway does not transfer from one owner to another. Some juristictions like New York City take ownership in a very literal sense to require the ticketed car to have the same registrant's name as the holder of the deed to the property, not just permission by an owner to block a driveway.
Another factor you need to consider is what is the parking regulation in effect at the time the ticket was issued. Look at both the posted signs and the ticket carefully to ensure that you were cited for parking in the driveway and NOT for the regulation that would be in effect had you parked the car on the street by the curb. Obviously in determining whether you can park and block a driveway on a city street is something that the owner of the driveway would have to know FOR SURE before you take the chance by blocking the driveway. If the regulation allows it and you believe you were ticketed anyway, submit a canceled stamped or metered mail with the address of the violation on the envelope or submit a copy of a utility bill with the address on the ticket, and submit either with a signed statement on the back by the owner stating the parking was OK, or preferably with a separate optional notarized statement by the owner swearing you had his/her permission and you should be covered. Be careful HIJACK YOUR DRIVEWAY, you’re cited with a WARNING: no matter where you are except maybe somewhere strictly rural or residential must you watch out to be sure if you can park and block a driveway. Safe parking!

 
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15 comments:

  1. Normally I do not learn post on blogs, nonetheless I would like to say that this write-up extremely pressured me to check out and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, quite great post.

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    1. Thank you citizen!Please let me know if there's a topic you'd like for me to cover! --Sgt. Al

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  2. I live in Flushing, NY. Can I block my driveway? Please help as I can't seem to find anything online. I've asked several police officers and got different answers. Thanks.

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    1. New York City Traffic Rule s.4-08(f)(2) allows for owners to park in front of their driveways on the street (if you can find a driveway large enough to block and fit a car). New York City takes ownership in a very literal sense to require the ticketed car to have the same registrant's name as the holder of the deed to the property, not just permission by an owner to block a driveway.

      So yes, you can park your car in front of or block your driveway to your Flushing, Queens residence, but be careful, as some law enforcement as you mentioned may not be familiar with this rule that may subject you to being ticketed. If you are, copy your property deed or mortgage and your car's registration and mail it in with the ticket to plead not guilty by mail. Make sure the deed or mortgage and the registration both have the same name.

      Don't forget about the other parking regulations that may govern your street, like street cleaning rules, which prohibit you from parking regardless of whether the driveway is yours or not!

      Good luck!

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    2. Thanks Sgt. Another question I have is that my neighbor has been stealing traffic cones and poles from the city and placing in front of his own resident to save the street parking for his own private use. I called 311 and got a claim number and when I checked the status it says, ".........The police department has determined that police action was not necessary." How can this be? You mean I can actually block the street parking spot in front of my house by stealing a cone from DOT/Con Edison? What can I do? Please help me.

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    3. Anonymous you are a trooper. Because you sent me a good question about illegally reserving parking spots, I dedicated a separate post for you. Read it by clicking or cutting and pasting this web address here:

      http://sgtalcastro.blogspot.com/2013/09/unofficial-reserving-of-parking-spaces.html

      Thanks for the great question, and I hope the advice helps.

      Good luck!

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  4. I went to that webpage, but I don't see anything written regarding my question. Please advise. Thanks.

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    1. It's there! You have to just find it. I tried it myself and it works.

      Clip and paste and try entering the page without the http:// like this:

      sgtalcastro.blogspot.com/2013/09/unofficial-reserving-of-parking-spaces.html

      It's also on my main page until I post a new one:

      sgtalcastro.blogspot.com

      Or type in "Unofficial Reserving of Parking" in the search box at the very top of this page and it'll bring you to your post I made for you.

      BTW while I still have you here--thanks again for the great question. I like the answer I gave you. Don't take any crap from your neighbor. You go and move all that crap out of the way and park in that space he's reserved for himself or go to the police station to complain with video or pictures in hand. Also remember he's entitled to park in front of your house as well. He sounds like a dick, but try to be neighborly even though he's probably an a**hole.

      If you need my help any further, just let me know. Now go get 'em! ;-)

      -- Sgt. Al

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  5. The neighbors and I share a driveway that leads to the rear for parking. (3 units on each side) We both own large trucks. I have no problem parking in the back. They refuse to do the same. They park in the driveway on the side of one of their units. This makes it difficult for me to exit or enter. Are they legally allowed to park there? We live in Los Angeles.

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    1. Thanks for the great question. Let me research this. I'll get back to you.

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  6. Sergeant Al, I know you posted about NYC and blocking your own driveway being legal but do you know about Nassau County? I know there is a violation code on their website (P1202-A2A) but do not know if that is meant for just for others, non-owners of property. Any help would be appreciated!

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    1. Thanks for the great question. Let me research this. I'll get back to you.

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  7. Good morning Sargeant. Please help me out. I live near La Guardia airport and some of the airport employees have been blocking the neighbors driveway. In an effort to prevent them from blocking the driveways. Some homeowners have been placing orange cones to mark the driveways. Is this allowed? Thank you in advance.

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  8. Elias thanks for the great question. My default answer is for you to call your local NYPD precinct and speak to the desk officer to find out if putting traffic cones on the street to mark the location of a driveway is legal. I do know from my time living in NYC that using anything to block a parking spot including traffic cones is illegal (see my post about reserving unofficial parking spaces (http://sgtalcastro.blogspot.com/2013/09/unofficial-reserving-of-parking-spaces.html)), but this is different under these circumstances. Apparently you are using traffic cones to identify where a driveway is on a street. Blocking a driveway is illegal in NYC, By placing a marker you are identifying to the public that a driveway is nearby. This can be helpful especially during the winter months when there is snow on the ground and driveways are not easily identifiable. I don't ever remember a section in the NYC Traffic Rules that forbids you from doing this, but the best course is to ask the police so that you are sure! Let us know if you find out! Many thanks!

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Sgt. Al here. I welcome your comments, ideas, and suggestions. You have questions about the police, and I'm interested in hearing what you have to say as a citizen. Thanks!

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