Of all the traffic violations that you could be issued here in New York City -- speeding, red light summonses, failure to yield, etc. -- none are perhaps as frustrating as parking tickets. When you see that colored envelope tucked beneath the windshield wiper of your car, your first reaction is probably to utter an otherwise unprintable sequence of words and crumple the ticket in anger.
It's bad enough to get one speeding ticket. Getting two speeding tickets at the same time is much worse -- and not something that anyone expects to happen. It did happen recently, though, to a retired couple driving on a Georgia road. The driver informed a local news station that she was astonished when a patrol car pulled her over, as she hasn't gotten a speeding ticket in 30 years. However, by the time she pulled over to the side of the road, there were two police cars behind her.
Is it possible to be two places at once? According to the rules of science -- and the rules of common sense -- the answer to that question is, of course, no. However, it appears that the New York Police Department may think otherwise as it somehow managed to issue a traffic violation to a college student who was behind bars at the same time he allegedly ran a red light.
Everyone in New York knows the heart dropping feeling they get when they see the dreaded parking ticket on their car. And no one needs reminding of how vicious the enforcement is if you don't pay them either.
In this blog, we've often discussed tickets issued for various traffic violations, but this post is all about parking tickets. In fact, commercial truck drivers who drive in or through New York City should be aware that police are now cracking down on 18-wheelers parked on the streets in the Bronx. Recently, police in the Bronx's 45th Precinct slapped 14 parking tickets on commercial trucks in one night, with exceptionally high fines -- reportedly as high as $515. It was a deliberate attempt to send a message to commercial truck drivers that on-street parking will no longer be tolerated.
As we've seen earlier in this blog, drivers in New York City are often affected by even the most basic changes in vehicle traffic laws. Another change, currently underway, which will subtly alter the city streetscape, does not deal with vehicles but rather with street signs. The Federal Highway Administration has ordered that street signs across the country be printed in a combination of upper and lower case letters, with only the first letter of each word capitalized. New York City's signs have traditionally been printed in all upper case letters.
Those who must navigate the busy streets of New York in cars or trucks frequently seem to have two primary complaints: traffic violations and the speed of traffic. Interestingly, the New York City Department of Transportation recently released a report that could shed some light on this latter point, particularly in regards to when traffic moves the fastest.
New York's restaurant industry is currently enjoying the use of electric bicycles. Food delivery people can hop on the bike, which has a top speed of 20 mph, and arrive at their destination with the food freshly cooked and still piping hot. The only problem is that such a feat may result in the electric bike rider being cited for a traffic violation. Electric bikes are "100 percent illegal to ride" in New York City. However, the laws are confusing and some police officers themselves aren't even aware that they are illegal.
There's no question that New York City can be a mixed bag for blind residents trying to get around. On the one hand, the city, with its extensive public transit system, is far more accessible than many other places. On the other hand, with its speeding cars and bumpy sidewalks, the city presents a variety of obstacles and dangers to the visually impaired.
This coming week, people from all over the country will be flocking to south central New York for the big NASCAR race at Watkins Glen International. However, whether you are a spectator or simply a resident of the area, you will want to do your best to keep one eye on your speedometer and try not to emulate the driving skills of NASCAR's best.