Recently, drivers on a local Manhattan street say they saw city workers post brand new “No Parking” signs and immediately after ticketed every car along the block that was legally parked there just moments earlier.
According to NBC 4 New York, surveillance video revealed that workers did in fact change the signs along West 15th Street.
Prior to the change, the local law prohibited parking on Mondays and Thursdays between 8:30 AM and 10 AM because of street cleaning. However, in just a few short moments that rule was changed—without giving drivers or residents any warning—to “No Standing Anytime.”
Literally moments after putting up the signs, city workers came by and wrote $115 tickets for every car on the block that had been legally parked there that morning.
Jose Cherrez, one of the drivers, told reporters, “I saw out of my window that they were issuing tickets to all the cars … I don’t think it’s fair—if we would have got a warning that we weren’t supposed to park there…”
Some residents claim the new signs were posted in front of new racks for the city’s bike share program that is supposed to launch next week and the workers must have gotten confused when giving out the parking tickets to cars instead of bikes.
One resident commented, “I don’t think they knew what they were doing, or there was no correspondence between the two agencies.”
The Department of Transportation released a statement saying, “[A]ny motorist who believes they received a ticket in error can contest it through the Department of Finance, which adjudicates violations.”
Do not let the city get away with this! Any driver who was involved should plead not guilty and contest the ticket he or she received. Not only did the city fail to notify drivers of the policy change, but it also changed the policy after cars were already legally parked there. This type of retroactive, ex-post facto policy is no doubt illegal. All of this, combined with the high likelihood of human error, should easily lead to the ticket being dismissed.
While our firm does not handle parking tickets, we do fight moving violations and criminal offenses throughout New York. So, if you feel like you have been wronged you should contact our office immediately.