Ask the Councilman: Can I Double-Park on Alternate-Side Days?

Councilman David Greenfield Speaks to Readers

Welcome to “Ask the Councilman” – a monthly column from Hamodia readers who have questions, issues or suggestions on how to improve their neighborhood.

In many neighborhoods, including ours, it is common to double-park vehicles while alternate-side parking regulations are in effect. The reason is simple: We don’t have enough parking spaces to accommodate all the cars that need to be moved. This practice has become accepted in many areas like Boro Park, Midwood and Bensonhurst that suffer from a shortage of parking spaces, with the many traffic enforcement agents turning a blind eye as a courtesy to the public. However, it is technically illegal to double park, and doing so leaves you open to a possible $115 ticket.

My office receives numerous calls each week from frustrated motorists who received a ticket for violations including double parking, which the city defines as “standing or parking on the roadway side of a vehicle [that is] stopped, standing or parked at the curb,” with some exemptions for commercial vehicles.

So what’s the solution? I have co-sponsored legislation that would allow motorists to double-park during alternate side parking hours as long as they leave contact information on their dashboard so the motorist they are blocking can reach them if they need to move their car.

I will continue to fight for that law, but in the meantime, you should know that in some neighborhoods, specifically Boro Park, those who double park will get a courtesy. In most other neighborhoods they do not give such courtesies. Even in Boro Park, if you don’t move your car at exactly the time that alternate side ends, or if you double-park on a block with a school on it, no courtesy is provided.

My office is ready to assist any resident who feels they received an unfair or unwarranted parking ticket. At the same time, it is important that everyone is aware of the city law when it comes to double parking to avoid that sinking feeling as you return to your car to find a ticket.


 

To submit questions, concerns or comments for this column, email askcouncilmangreenfield @hamodia.com.

Councilman David G. Greenfield represents the 44th Council District in the New York City Council, which includes the neighborhoods of Boro Park, Midwood and Bensonhurst.