Tuesday, March 10, 2015

New Snow Record! Car Not Moved on Manhattan Street for 44 days and Survived!

Who doesn’t admire a record, a winning streak, a hero? This Winter, in perhaps one of mankind's greatest achievements, two fellow New Yorkers have left his and her car on the south side of the street in the Upper West Side for over 6 weeks and never received a ticket! Thanks to the repeated snow days, frigid days, and one singular, extraordinary, eureka moment of sheer will (or luck), this happy couple, who only use their car for weekend excursions, have been living the dream. Mother Nature and the benevolence of the DOT (uh yeah!) have dealt this carefree couple an Alternate Side Parking leave of absence.
This daring feat got its real momentum with the big Nor'easter on 2/6. Nobody was moving their cars in those days and Sanitation crews were plowing day and night. Alternate Side suspensions ran for days and as much as a week at a time. Then as things started to clear and there was a day or two when Alt Side was in effect, Christine (as the car is now known in Hollywood circles), happened to be on the correct side for that day’s sweeping which, of course, never happened because February’s record cold temperatures froze the snow solid. Then came more storms and more frigid days making the accumulations rock hard and the suspensions inevitable.
Then one amazing day in mid-February, the DOT looked up into the blue sky and, in their infinite wisdom, decided Alt Side rules should be in effect. No matter, those snowplowed snow dunes were frozen fast to the street and too solid to plow. Our heros' doorman confirms that a plow didn’t even show up to try. A sweeper didn’t show to try to slalom up and down them either.  It had been decided it was time to get those cars (tickets?) moving again and people started dutifully digging, hacking and dynamiting their cars out. Our two heros’ car was so covered in snow and so encased in ice,

they decided they wouldn’t be able to get it out and left it. "Let the DOT have their pound of flesh!" or other similar curses were uttered.
Later that morning, the parking troopers relentlessly marched down the street, waved their magic revenue wands over windshields and printed their tickets as if it was a lovely spring day. Miracle of miracles though, our two heros did not get a ticket.
How were the ticketed and unticketed cars chosen? Who knows? Is it fair? Who can say? Is our new mayor afraid of heart attacks? Probably. Does the DOT even have a heart? Just maybe, But thanks to that one fateful day in mid February the all time record string of over 6 weeks without having to move your car on a Manhattan street continued and only just ended today.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Alt Side Is Suspended Tomorrow Mon. (3/2) and I Don’t Have to Move My Car until Next Weekend.

Don’t know about you but I love the snow and cold of this Winter. Because the city is so pretty in the fresh snow? Uh, kind of, but mostly because thanks to all the Alternate Side Parking suspensions I only have had to move my car a couple of times for over a month and probably could have gone longer if I hadn’t needed to use it. Now, my car is on the north side of the street (good for Tuesdays and Fridays on the UWS) and Alt Side Parking is suspended Mon (Snow Day) and Thur (Purim) so I do not have to move it or even think about moving it until the weekend. It goes like this.
Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri
Suspended Correct Side Not In Effect Suspended Correct Side
Meanwhile, with more snow on the way, none of us may have to move the car this week, but if you are on the Tue/Fri side you can stop thinking about it right now (at least for this week).

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Great Parking Sign Redesign

Most of us who park in this city have had a chance to see the parking signs redesign that started last year. Slowly the familiar signs are being replaced by something a little newer, a little cleaner, its look a little more modern.

The Old and the New

True the old signs are wearing, and something more closely resembling New York Fun World, the ultimate tourist destination is worth the enormous price of orders generated, raw materials expended, signs manufactured, work crews dispersed, not to mention the inevitable repairs and fixes, etc, right? But I personally am not loving this new design enough to justify the huge expense and if New York really dreams of being a tourist mecca where pedestrians are safe, traffic is systematically choked off our streets and people of all nationalities will actually understand our traffic rules, then why not use a parking signage that is immediately understood across all languages. Something international and intuitive. Like for a simple Alternate Side parking Sign:

Read it as a sweep of the hour hand.
Ok, I admit this is my design, my solution for simplifying parking rules in a city where understanding where to park is worse than a word problem. And it works very well for our parallelspaces.com parking map app, but by itself is probably not enough. So how about this:

Offered at a low low price

It is immediately understandable, universal in its appeal and also speaks in plain English in case you didn’t get it the first time.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Give THANKS for Thursdays or 5-3-5-4

This Thanksgiving Alternate Side Parking is suspended for one-day-only.  Now everyone knows Thursdays are lucky days, but do you know why? Is it because the weekend is almost here? Is it because it was named after the planet Jupiter, the King of the Gods? Even more impressive than these, it’s because Thursdays that are one-day-only Alternate Side Parking Suspended Days have the longest stretch of days possible without the required moving of your car. I know those of you who have to take your car out every day wince when you hear from us who only take the car out for recreation or for transporting in-laws out of town, but we also pay New York City’s higher registration fees, taxes, inspection and insurance, not to mention suffer the whims of the DOT, the PVB, up the WXYZ. So we have to give thanks when Monday we can move the car to the Tue/Fri side and not think about moving it again until next Mon.
Now some may say “OK, sounds lucky,” but what is the 5-3-5-4 in the title? The combination to your gym locker that you keep forgetting, the latest college football genius defense on show this Thanksgiving weekend, or the rest of that girl’s telephone number that rubbed off? None of these.
It is the results of the parallelspaces.com very sophisticated, very state of the art Best Alternate Side Suspended Days Test Formula Numbers Array! Hey, we take parking pretty seriously. Of course, it’s a little too complicated for those of you without an engineering degree, but I can explain it to you laymen (and laywomen) something like this.
Start with the Mon, Tue, Thur., or Fri (Typical Alternate Side Days) just previous to the single suspended day you want to test. Then count the days until your car will no longer be legally parked. For example, this Thursday Street Sweeping is suspended for Thanksgiving. So once you move the car to the Tue side, you don’t have to move it for Wed (1), Thur (2), Fri (3), Sat (4) and Sun (5). That rates a Thur Only Suspended Day as a 5. Tue Only Suspended Days are a 3 and Fridays a 4. While it’s true Mondays are also a 5, the tiebreaker is long weekends almost always involve taking the car somewhere. True, just about all of us will take the car somewhere for Thanksgiving, but think last Veterans Day (11/11) and you get my point.
So Thursdays are officially crowned King of the Alternate Side Suspended Days and we thank the King of the Gods for it!
But that’s for single days. What about Alternate Side Suspended combinations? Well if you've been watching you just saw a 16 day stretch in October. Not too shabby.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Alternate Side Parking Suspended in NYC October 3d to October 19th

Ladies and Gentlemen, turn off your engines. That’s right. Starting October 3rd through the 19th you can turn off that motor and leave it off for weeks, if you want to. Thanks to a blessed lineup of religious and holiday street sweeping suspensions (even including the major Muslim holiday of Idul-Adha), from October 3rd to the 19th Alternate Side Parking is going into remission. Just park on the Tue side of the street and, in most residential neighborhoods, you won’t have to move that car for street sweeping for up to 16 days.

This calendar helps make it a little clearer:

Sick and tired of moving your car from side to side for daily street sweeping? Caught by surprise by the end of Summer?  Now for the good news: Park on the Tue side of the street by October 3 and you don’t have to step on that gas, burn that exhaust, or leave that parking space on the Tue side of the street for over two weeks… unless you just feel like it!

Oh, and just to show you we're not kidding. Alternate Side Parking is also suspended tomorrow (Thur) and Friday 9/25-9/26 for the Jewish new year Rosh Hashanah.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Parking Scofflaws We Hate (a never ending series)

Why can't we just all learn to share?

Friday, August 1, 2014

Parking Sign Language (revisited)

OK, what is the deal with hand signals? I’m not talking about left turn, right turn types of signals that have become obsolete unless you are limping home with a broken blinker system or just like attention from the NYPD. I’m talking about when you’ve returned from a long weekend and a long drive and have been cruising your neighborhood for a half hour for a parking space, you are driving down a block and, “Eureka!” you spot someone getting into their car. You pull up and, unless you just like to hover and idle your engine for long periods of time, and assuming it is not your teenage daughter and her boyfriend in the car, you query the person on whether they are actually leaving. Those hand signals.
I know we are a multiethnic, multi religious, rainbow colored, many peopled melting pot in the making and in New York so much of it works most of the time. But this brave new experiment has not enabled us to come to an agreement on something as simple as some kind of universal hand signals for leaving/not leaving a parking space. I’ve seen hands going up, hands going down, palms upturned, middle finger extended, hands shooing, fingers fluttering, fingers (or finger) wagging, or nothing at all behind tinted windows so dark that you start to wonder if it wasn’t them who pulled up alongside you. The very same gestures can mean opposite things depending on who is giving them or who is receiving them.
Hand signals are important because we often drive with windows closed, very few drivers are legally blind and can understand visual cues, they are quick and do not require us to have a whole conversation or come to a full stop even. No one wants to hover fruitlessly only to let the row of Sharks (see 5-8-10 post) behind you all pass you by relegating you to the back of the line. So, a quick answer to the obvious question is a useful thing.
Thus, I have conducted a very scientifically extensive, double blind, triple axel (with a twist), 4 wheeled survey of my peers and am proposing a universal set of hand/head signals to indicate your current claim to that parking space where you are squatting.

Courtesy of http://funnyanimatedgifs.net

The nod (smile optional) would be the YES I AM LEAVING and this can include any other message or range of emotions you like, because this news is so good, we are prepared to endure it all knowing we will soon be home and at rest to enjoy a favorite movie or talk to our family or friends. For you more athletic types a thumbs up can sometimes be substituted.

PhotobucketCourtesy of http://www.feebleminds-gifs.com

Holding up 5 fingers to indicate 5 minutes or 10 fingers to indicate 10 minutes. All longer units of time up to and over one hour are not understood to be included in either of these signals. When someone once pointed out a New York minute is about half of everybody else’s, they were obviously talking about a driver waiting for a parking space so please do not abuse this signal. If you are just waiting in your vehicle, and are possessed of divine compassion, you might consider vacating the space and waiting double parked.

Courtesy of http://img150.echo.cx/

In addition to its all important, NO, I AM NOT MOVING primary meaning, the wagging of the index finger to the left and right can also be understood to include an entire rainbow of emotions from “So sorry!” to “Just got here.” to “Can’t I just get a little shut eye without people disturbing me?” I think we owe a debt of gratitude to our Latino parkers here as the wagging finger is a favorite among Hispanic drivers I have seen, and, even though it may make some of us feel like we are misbehaving in class, it seems to be the simplest and easiest understood of hand signals.

Last, but not least. If a driver gets into his or her parked car, but will not answer or even acknowledge your query, maybe won’t even look at you, move on. They have much greater troubles than you.

Please feel free to offer your own suggestions.