New York City is visited by thousands of people daily, and the streets are consistently flooded with vehicles of all kinds. It’s a magnificent place, yet there are some tricky parking rules. There are multiple signs within the city that dictate whether or not people can park in certain areas, and these signs have confused countless visitors through the years.
Let me give you a personal example. One breezy Saturday afternoon, I decided to make a trip to New York City with my wife. It was a wonderful day, and we wanted to explore Hell’s Kitchen market as well as enjoy a tasty meal from the Hell’s Kitchen restaurant, which is located on 9th avenue between 38 and 39th streets. Once we arrived in the city and found a nice parking spot, I used my credit card to pay the $22 meter fee, which would ensure us ample time to do what we wanted to do.
The day was going well until I returned to the car. A boot had been placed on one of the wheels, and stickers were pasted all over the windshield. I was now faced with parking tickets and a warning. If I did not pay the ticket within two hours, I was to face further consequences. I had to stop everything I was doing and rush to Pier 76 to pay the $185 ticket. To make matters worse, there was an additional ticket in the amount of $115. Though I was able to pay the first ticket, I did not have the chance to pay for the second one. I had to mail it. This immediately became a burden, and the blissful day in NYC came to a screeching halt.
The government has placed its boot on my throat, and hung the sword of Damocles over my head. The fun-filled day we had planned suddenly became an exhausting and unpleasant one. This turn of events was solely due to the baffling road signs. It was only after we had paid and waited two hours that the boot was removed from our car. Before we could spend anything, we lost $350. This was an unexpected expenditure, and we were flummoxed by this incident.
Even though we tried to forget the incident had occurred and resume our day, we were not able to get past what, in our minds, was an unjust event. We had an original budget of $2000 to spend in NYC, and the incident stripped us of a good portion of that allowance. We didn’t spend our money at Fish on Bleecker Street, nor Goorin Bros. Hats, or Frye shoes. We passed on Chelsea Market as well, and even avoided Macy’s. Instead we decided to keep our money and spend it all in the local market.
There was a great lesson to be learned in all of this. The city allows any commercially licensed vehicle to park anywhere on the streets. This is quite bizarre. Tourism fuels the economy in NYC, and motorists often don’t stand a chance of parking easily with all the restrictions placed upon them. Incidents like the one I had occur frequently. Even though the city infrastructure is not conducive to the well-being of any vehicle, if you’re going to NYC, it would behoove you to drive a commercially licensed vehicle; you will definitely save a large sum of money at the end of the day. If not, you may find yourself facing the same fate I did.
It is true that all citizens must obey the rules of any city or town, especially the rules of the road. This ensures the safety of both the passengers in the vehicle and the pedestrians, but the road rules have to be communicated properly to the community. Signs are often misleading, and people constantly get confused.
On the other hand, it is necessary to allocate some parking spaces on either side of the street for passenger cars, especially in a city like New York. Commercial vehicles should have priority, but passenger cars have significance as well. It would be ideal if each side of the street was separately allocated. This would enable passenger cars to park without any inconveniences.
Incidents like mine create losses for the businesses in New York City. When visitors from other states or local areas face similar situations, I predict they’ll start moving away from the city due to displeasure. Being one of the largest business cities in the world, it is not good for the reputation of the city. Road rules are incredibly important, but they should not be puzzling. The messages should be conveyed clearly to drivers, with little to no room for questions.
If you are planning to visit NYC anytime soon, remember this: Don’t park your car and quickly leave the area. Before you leave, recheck several times to see if the spot is legally available. As I mentioned before, the best thing to do is visit the city with your commercially licensed vehicle. If not, you may unexpectedly lose money, as I did. I still can’t believe I lost $350. I don’t want others to experience the same misfortune, so make sure you understand the exact meaning of any and all road signs before you leave your car.