NYC- How far can I park from a marked crosswalk at an intersection?

I haven’t received a ticket for parking too close to a crosswalk. I’m asking this more out of curiosity and ticket prevention.

NY state law says the following:

"Parking or standing is not allowed:

Within 20 feet (6 m) of a crosswalk at an intersection."

However, I witness meter maids in NYC giving tickets to vehicles for all other offenses I’m aware of, but never for this. Yeah, yeah, I know this doesn’t mean it’s legal- just not enforced much if at all. But I’ve seen a few blog posts of people complaining that it is legal in NYC.

In the following blog post, the author claims that the SUV in the first two pics is parked legally. I don’t think that’s correct (I posted the latest reply- I’m Martini). Is he right? Am I?

The picture is after a snowstorm (must have been last year). After a snowstorm a lot of questionable parking practices are tolerated. I think you are right (although I suspect the full 20 feet is rarely enforced, I did get such a ticket maybe twenty years ago).

I’ve gotten tickets in NYC for being within 5’ of the intersection (dismissed by the ALJ because my car was improperly described). I’ve also been ticketed for “parking” illegally stepping out of my car to grab something from the trunk, which doesn’t satisfy the definition of “parking,” which would mean an unattended vehicle in a prohibited zone. I hope on that one the ALJ enjoyed my comment that the ticketing officer parked in the middle of an intersection to write the ticket.

A friend of mine got an NYC ticket for “blocking the box [intersection]” because he got caught perpendicular to a police car that pulled someone else over in the intersection. He got out of that one, if for no reason other than the fact that his father was a judge.

ETA: NYC can be remarkably tough (or easy) to park in; it just depends on the neighborhood. Definitely be careful parking near corner street markets with high piles of garbage on the curb - there are often hydrants buried under there. That was why my one-day-old car got towed. I wonder if the Chinese market got ticketed for burying a fire hydrant in rotten produce…

Crossings in the UK have a zigzag white lines before and after. It is illegal to even stop on it except in a traffic queue. This is enforced everywhere. We are not supposed to park within 10 metres of a junction - this is not widely enforced except where it is clearly dangerous.

We don’t get towed for parking near a fire hydrant though.

NYC seems to have its own regulations; I’m not sure how that works in relation to NYS regulations, but FWIW here is a list for NYC:

The only thing I see about a crosswalk is #50, “Stopping, standing or parking in a crosswalk. Note: Crosswalks are not always identified by painted street markings” which results in a $115 fine. So it would seem that there is no regulation regarding being too close to one, just don’t park in one.

As you allude to, I can’t imagine anyone ever getting a ticket in NYC (actually, just about anywhere for that matter) for parking within 20 feet of a crosswalk, and I have never seen or heard of anyone even contemplating adhering to this rule when parking. 20 feet is a lot of feet.

The author of the blog posting you responded to included in his post a link to NYC Dept. of Transportation’s Traffic Rules [Title 34, chapter 4]. That document is offered on this page. Scanning through the PDF for mentions of “crosswalk”, he’s right, it prohibits parking in a crosswalk, and is silent about parking too near a crosswalk. How that interplays with state law, if state law does indeed prohibit parking within 20 feet of one, I’ve no clue.

[quote=“x-ray_vision, post:1, topic:743250”]

"Parking or standing is not allowed:

Within 20 feet (6 m) of a crosswalk at an intersection."

However, I witness meter maids in NYC giving tickets to vehicles for all other offenses I’m aware of, but never for this. /QUOTE]

Signs probably give a confusing message. Its probably meant to be only if there is a sign which allows parking (at some time during the day), but the location (or other detail ) of a negative sign can cause confusion… eg If its not allowed between 6 am and 10am, is it allowed outside those times ?

eg a common one is No Stopping signs elsewere on the street closer to the intersection than the actual distance would be . Does a no stopping sign 3 metres from the crossing mean that its legal to park 3-6 metre zone, which the law says (even if there is no sign…) Probably the law says that only positive signs are meant to override…
A “city” (council) near me loves giving out fines for parking too close to the intersection, based on the law and not the signs. They’d come each night and give out fines. The other side of the road had positive signs ( That impose a time limit during some times) much closer to the intersection, so it could be argued the signs were confusing… But if the city council were truely worried about safety (delaying a fire truck’s arrival at a fire because the intersection was impassable… ) they’d put up signs once off, rather then handing out fines to random visitors … its not a good way to welcome the tourist…

AFAIK, if a state makes something illegal, a city, town, etc. within that state can not make that thing permissible. For instance, if a state says that carrying a switchblade is illegal, than a city within that state can not make carrying one permissible.

That’s not what happened here as I see no evidence that NYC is saying it is okay to park within 20 feet of a crosswalk; I’m just pointing out that if NY state says it is not allowed, NYC does not need to make a law repeating it…however, I do find it curious that the link regarding NYC parking regulations posted by Kyrie Eleison bothers to say that one must not park within a crosswalk, but nothing else.

This would be my guess, too, but as a practical matter, enforcement of parking regulations in NYC is done by the city, and I would also guess that the city’s personnel are instructed only to pay attention to the city’s regulations. So, maybe in theory, a state trooper could ticket a car for parking too close to the crosswalk, but I don’t think I’ve ever personally seen a uniformed state trooper in the city.

But like I said, that’s just a guess. It’s also possible that somewhere in state law there’s a provision that says that municipalities can supersede state traffic law in some matters. In fact, this site says:

So maybe that state trooper can’t write that ticket unless the commissioner of traffic agrees he can. I wonder how far afield of state law the commissioner can go without getting into hot water with someone in state government.

Since I’ve seen parking meters and various parking signs with arrows placed within 20 ft of an crosswalk , I’d say NYC is stating just that. However, here’s a link to the actual vehicle and traffic law , not a DMV handbook The section starts with "§ 1202. Stopping, standing or parking prohibited in specified places.
(a) Except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic, or when
in compliance with law or the directions of a police officer or official
traffic-control device, no person shall:

and then later states:

  1. Stand or park a vehicle, whether occupied or not, except
    momentarily to pick up or discharge a passenger or passengers:
    a. In front of a public or private driveway;
    b. Within twenty feet of a cross walk at an intersection, unless a
    different distance is indicated by official signs, markings or parking

The first excerpt does leave open the possibility of there being a different local rule in NYC, (like right turn on red, which is opposite from the rest of the state.
And the second allows signs, markings and parking meters to indicate a differnt distance. There are almost always signs in NYC. Sometimes, a sign 10 feet from the corner says “No parking here to corner” or “No parking 11am-1pm Thursday” with arrows going in both directions.

That’s my guess as well.

I don’t think so. As you go on to cite, NY state does specifically say it’s okay to park within 20 feet of a crosswalk if a sign says it’s okay or if there is a parking meter.

I don’t think the first excerpt does that. And NYC not allowing right on red isn’t going against state law. Making a law stricter is one thing. But a city can’t make a law less strict than the state allows.

I’m no lawyer but I don’t see why this would necessarily be the case. Do you know for a fact that parking rules would work this way? i.e., “take the union of all the city and state regulations; if there is overlap, the city can overrule but only if it’s more ‘strict’ than the state version.”

It may be that state law only applies where a municipality has not established any sort of regulation at all, possibly from being too small or something. Think about it, have you ever heard of someone in NYC getting a New York STATE parking ticket? I honestly don’t know if this ever happens but I know if I ever saw a state trooper (rather than NYPD) writing a parking ticket in Manhattan or something I would find it very odd.

This isn’t direct evidence of anything, but FWIW this is what the DMV (the state agency) has to say:

“DMV does not handle parking violations or regulate parking. If you receive a parking ticket or have questions about local parking rules, contact your city, town or village. Do not contact DMV. You must respond to the tickets in the locality where they were issued.”

This is from the same agency whose website is the source of the “within 20 feet of a crosswalk” rule in question. To me this would seem to be saying that parking regulations are always at the city/town/village level. This would of course raise the question of why there are such things as NYS parking laws at all or why the NYS DMV has bothered to list any.

Anyone here have any actual facts about any of this?

From the article:

Parking rules are laws. Hypothetically, if NY state had a law (with no exceptions listed) that a right on red is not allowed, then NYC can not make a law saying that right on red is allowed.

In this case there are exceptions. As Doreen posted, the State does allow exceptions to the law made by in areas where there are “official signs, markings or parking meters.” I think that pretty much answers the question regarding crosswalks in the City that I’ve been wondering about for a long time now.

I’m not going to rule out any possibilities, as this is not my area of expertise either, but I see no reason to believe that’s the case.

Right. See my response to Kyrie Eleison in post 11.

See post 10. It’s a NY state law.

My guess is it’s so that local governments within NY don’t make laws less strict than the state thinks they should be.

Hypothetically speaking , though ( because I’m not going to do the research ) , there’s nothing to prevent NYS from having a law stating that the NYS parking regulations only apply where a municipality or county has not enacted its own laws. Or one giving NYC the authority to enact its own parking restrictions. And there’s nothing to require that such a law be published in each section of law where such "home rule " is allowed- * there could be a section in some other law ( such as the Municipal Home rule law )that allows it.

*the General Construction law specifies that when the deadline for an act to be performed is on a Sat, Sun or legal holiday, the deadline is extended to the next day that is not Sat, Sun or a legal holiday. This does not need to be repeated in every statute that sets a deadline.

I found the following (page 5):

Exceptions do follow in the next several paragraphs.