Alternate parking grace period in Albany

Alternate Parking.jpg*Updated at 5:32

Sound the trumpets, the grace period for alternate side parking in Albany is now official.

No more sitting in your car and waiting for the exact moment to move to the other side of the street so you don't get a ticket. No more synchronizing your watches to the parking attendant, watching and worrying about switching sides five minutes too early or ten minutes too late.

(We once watched as attendants ticketed folks on one side of a street for moving cars too early at 5:58, then circled the block and ticketed the cars on the other side for not moving in time at 6:02.)

The new rule took effect this past Saturday. It includes a 60 minute grace period -- a half-hour before the switchover time and 30 minutes after. (the exact language from from the law is after the jump)

FYI: It seems that information about the new grace period may not have made it around to everyone, yet. When we spoke with Parking Violations today the person who answered the phone hadn't heard about new ordinance. Keep that in mind if you get stuck with a ticket during the grace period.

*As Ed points out the grace period applies to streets where parking is only allowed on one side of the street at a time. On streets where parking is usually allowed on both sides that only have alternate parking twice a week the grace period does not apply.

Earlier on AOA:
+ Capital Region parking ticket fees
+ How the rest of us are ticketed

From the ordinance:

Parking limits in the City of Albany will be designated by the Chief of the Department of Police and displayed through the use of official signs, except in designated areas within the City where parking meters are installed [which will have a parking limit of one hour between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday, except holidays] in accordance with Article XIII of this chapter.
In instances where alternate side of the street parking limits are instituted on streets with one-sided on street parking only, the Chief of the Department of Police shall designate a one-hour change over window to allow vehicles to move from one side of a street to another so as to be in compliance with applicable alternate side of the street parking regulations. Such change over period shall be divided so as to provide thirty (30) minutes prior to the applicable posted no parking period and thirty (30) minutes after the applicable posted no parking period. During such window period, vehicles shall not be considered to be parked in violation of the provisions of this chapter.


A word of caution: this applies to a small number of streets. It's for "streets with one-sided on street parking only." If you can park on both sides of the street on a normal day, then there are no grace periods.

How bloody magnanimous of them.

In similar news: Assembly passes Albany residential-parking plan (TU)

@ Ed, so does this mean that if there is a parking restriction only two days a week (one day each side for street cleaning, for example) there is no grace period?

@KM The grace period only applies to streets where you can only park on one side at a time. Streets where you can park on both sides but move to one side for street cleaning twice a week do not have a grace period.

I've probably said this before, but I have this overwhelming need to comment whenever the subject of parking in Albany comes up: The city is absolutely the worst when it comes to parking. I've had better luck in New York City than when I lived off Center Square, when I got a parking ticket maybe every other week. After my lease was up, I swore I'd never live in Albany again, either downtown or anywhere else.

>>>(We once watched as attendants ticketed folks on one side of a street for moving cars too early at 5:58, then circled the block and ticketed the cars on the other side for not moving in time at 6:02.)

i have a comment just waiting to burst out right now...but i'll keep it under wraps this time.

I'm so disappointed the law didn't use the phrasing that you did -- a half-hour before, but 30 minutes after.

@Mark, I understand the frustration being a Center Square resident myself, but it's not enough to drive me away. I consider it the one downfall to living in such a great place.

i lived in center square about 10 years ago, and i seem to remember an "understood" grace period for alternate parking - it was not in statute anywhere - just one of those unwritten rules - made it a bit easier on the residents. i guess that changed somewhere along the way?

@ kim, @ mark

After living on Irving for 6 months I can tell you - the 5:58 and 6:02 type tickets happened ALL THE TIME. Some neighbors went out before the chageover to find tickets. "We assumed you were going to miss the deadline" metermaids told them. We BEGGED for beat cops in the nighborhood, but the only time we ever say the police? between 5:50pm and 6:10 pm on thursday nights and again at 9:00 am on friday. They would wait on dove for the clock to tick down. We avoided parking on the street on thursdays, so it rarely affected us - but the parking issue was one that drove us from the CS area.

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