Southern Brooklyn

From The Inbox: Alternate Side Parking, Double Parking, And Other Parking Nightmares

Photo courtesy of Raffi Greenstein
Photo courtesy of Raffi Greenstein

Parking is one of the more horrible pastimes that New Yorkers have dealt with in the past century. There are a million rules, fines and, what is worse, so few precious spots to cram your car into. Sheepshead Bites reader Rafi Greenstein sent us this message along with the two photographs:

Reason number #50058 to hate NYC. I spend up to 20 minutes on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday looking for a parking space on the correct side of the street sometimes I get lucky but sometimes I have no choice but to park on the side where I will have to move at 12 p.m. At 12 p.m. I have no choice like many other drivers to double park I leave a big note with my phone number in case somebody needs to move. Now alternate side ends at 1:30 p.m. If I do not move at exactly that moment or sit in my car for 5 minutes before I get $150 ticket. If I had decided to stay on the wrong side of the street I would have gotten a $65 ticket and 5 minutes leeway both before and after alternate side.

Now, this is something I’m on the fence about. While the standard is obviously screwed up – Rafi should not have been penalized more than if had more blatantly broken rules by refusing to move for street cleaning – I’m also continually irked by those that think it’s okay to double park on street cleaning days. What do you think?

Photo courtesy of Raffi Greenstein
Photo courtesy of Raffi Greenstein
Comment policy


  1. Law doesn’t consider why you are double parked which is why it’s cheaper to obstruct street cleaning than traffic. In terms of double parking, if you are going to do it then leaving a note is very nice. Fyi, if the car is fwd or rwd, you can jack that side and pull the car into the street so the city tows it at the owners expense.

  2. Same thing with parking, there is a parking lot near our house where it costs to leave your car overnight for a fee. ($20) Which i find funny cause it’s STILL Better then getting a 65 dollar ticket, Then again free parking is best parking 🙂

  3. It’s illegal to double park for alternate side of the street parking. The cops have to know it, yet they allow these lazy drivers to double park and don’t give them tickets. You would be very mad, if you had to move your car and you were blocked in by someone who was too lazy to drive around and find a legal parking spot. It’s very hard to park in most areas, but diligent drivers make it their business to find a legal spot.

  4. Normally I would be very unsympathetic about something like this but (and I don’t live on a block where there is ASOTS parking) but it has to be next to impossible to find somewhere to park when half the parking spots in a several block radius are unavailable. Think about it – it’s next to impossible when all the spots are legally park-able.

  5. Alternate side parking is complete bull and is only in place for the city to further tax the middle class.

  6. Illegal double-parkers make my blood boil. I have been victimized by these inconsiderate motorists many times on days when alternate side parking rules were in effect.
    They are emboldened because regulations governing illegal double parking are not enforced. About a year and a half ago, I contacted the Department of Transportation concerning this matter. I received no response to my formal inquiry. I subsequently contacted Theresa Scavo, Chairperson of my Community Board. She promised to address my complaint by having the police patrol my block and area on applicable days. It never happened.
    Now that Ms. Scavo is running for city council, she wants my support. Well, that’s not going to happen either.

  7. As bad as ASP is for car owners, parking would be impossible without it. Motorists would just never more their cars except to go on weekend rides. Example, see the tv show The Odd Couple, when Felix gets a legal space. It’s funny because its true.

  8. I disagree. You see I may work in a place that has alternate side but I live on a block in Sheepshead Bay where there is no alternate side at all…ever. It is no impossible to find a spot. People do not leave their cars for months. My block is 100% clean all the time and we have no trucks that randomly move garbage from one side to the other.

  9. Not to mention all the SUV that take more room and enjoy banging into smaller cars to get and out of spots

  10. Of course the cops know about it. Remember that they also get lots of complaints from residents (and their local representatives) about the non-existence of parking spots in the area during street cleaning hours. I suppose this is a reasonable compromise when no fair solution exists. It sucks for those who lives in places where cars far exceed parking spots (multi-story/family buildings, houses with driveways or with driveways deemed illegal) and especially for those who cannot be around during street cleaning and doesn’t have an available soul to move the car during that time. It is unproductive for those without a spot who have to move their cars twice during street cleaning, and the few who gets blocked by inconsiderate double parkers. The cops are quick to give out double parking tickets once street cleaning ends. Maybe there should be angle parking during street cleaning days which is sure to create confusion and a mess on ordinary streets.

    Parking is a privilege, not a right. Everyone hates it as much as you do (thought I guess those who have the spare time at home to look for a spot or move their car are less so). If you can’t handle this, don’t own a car or move to a place less crowded (I’m not directly this at you but you get the idea :).

    In other news, I’ve started to receive paper requests in my (physical) mailbox from people seeking parking spots for rent. A sure sign that your area is getting gentrified.

  11. If ASP rules were enforced then I suspect rates for parking lots/rental spaces (if they exist in the area) would skyrocket and many people would just give up private car ownership (switching to public transportation or rentals like ZipCar). Simple supply and demand. It’s how most Manhattanites operate, nothing new.

  12. Parking is a privilege? I dont agree lol.. we fund the government… and it abuses its power on its people… its a privilege for them to even exist. It is a right for all the people that are governed to be free from all these rediculous fines and regulations forced upon us for their personal gain. Read the constitution and the bill of rights…. WE THE PEOPLE. <3

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