Alternate side parking in Albany

alternate side parking signNow means now. Not fifteen minutes ago. Not five minutes from now--but now. At least when it comes to alternate parking rules in the city of Albany. If you live on an alternate parking street in A-Town, it's not uncommon to see folks moving their cars a little early in an effort to avoid a ticket and grab a coveted space near home. But last week residents on one Washington Park side street were surprised to find an officer ticketing them for having moved too early. About fifteen minutes early.

Which prompted us to ask if there's a grace period for alternate parking.

Albany P.D. spokesman Jim Miller says no. But what if it's only a couple of minutes? No. Even if we moved early to be sure we comply with the law? No.

Miller says it's important that people comply with the signs for safety reasons. "If street sweepers or emergency vehicles need to get through, the streets need to be clear. If cars are parked on both sides of a narrow street it could be dangerous."

A few minutes here or there can be a subjective thing, so do officers get any training or guidance on judging when to give the ticket. Miller says they don't. They just comply with the signs. So if you're parking in A-town be sure and check for alternate parking signs. And bring a watch. This is one time when being an early bird could cost you the worm (read worm as 25 bucks).


Quick tip: if the ticket is under 15 min, plead not guilty and say that the cops watch was slow or fast, depending on what gets you out of the ticket. Including some crap about using NIST to set your watch is optional, but could help. Got me out of a few in NYC.

$25.00, my hiney! I moved my car 22 minutes early a few weeks ago in the mansion neighborhood, and my ticket was $65.00!

Um, the cops watch? You realize they carry little computerized ticket printers that time stamp the tickets, right? I don't think the PD is stupid enough to not set those correctly.

I, too, received a $65 ticket for forgetting to move my car right at 6 a.m. a few weeks ago.

This is pretty rediculous. Unfortunately I understand the safety standpoint; many of the alternate parking streets become too narrow if cars are parked on both sides. But a few minutes of this a week shouldn't pose a problem... especially if officers are patrolling at that time. If they are, they should be enforcing safety. You know, serving and protecting.

A compromise would be to overlap the parking times slightly. So, for example, if one side of street has no parking from 6pm-6pm monday to tuesday, the opposite side could have parking only from 5:30pm-6:30pm monday to tuesday.

@logic: well that sucks. When I left NYC a few years ago, they were still handwriting them. But even troy is printing them out now. It helped that my meter maid liked to camp out and then split 2 minutes after. Always good to fight them, as sometimes they will give you a not guilty just to get you to go away. But then again, I enjoy fighting tickets of all kinds. I even was thinking about getting my speedometer calibrated so I could fight speeding tickets more effectively.

If the city thinks its so important that residents observe these rules to the letter, they should blanket the streets with the parking patrol at 5:55 pm. I would love to observe the ensuing hilarity.

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