Usually, once you leave Manhattan to visit the other boroughs, things get a little less complicated. Usually. Here's the deal...in short. If an arrow on a regulation points one way, the regulation is in force in the direction the arrow is pointed until you reach a sign with a different regulation. If an arrow points both ways, the regulation is in force in both directions until you reach a sign with a different regulation. (Missing signs can either work in your favor or against you. If there's no sign at all on a block, there's no regulation. If there's only one sign on a block, that rule in in force for the entire block.) Simple enough...right?
A couple of weeks ago, the city started changing the rules for street cleaning in my neighborhood. Now, instead of having to move your car twice a week for street cleaning, we'll only have to do it once. We like this! So, in preparation for the new rules, all of the old signs were replaced with new signs.
Here's what went up across the street from my house. The shots from left to right depict the signs in order from North to South.
First sign...Easy enough. You can't park anywhere between the northern corner of the block and whatever the next sign to the south is between 7am and 4pm on school days and (supposedly) even folks with Dept. of Education placards can't park there between 8:30am and 1:00pm on Fridays for street cleaning.
The next sign to the south seems to continue the street cleaning regulation for the rest of the block and to close off the section that's reserved for Dept. of Education folks. If you look further down the block from this sign, you can't even see what the next sign down the road is. You have to walk a few hundred yards to find the next one...which tells you they were just kidding about having "closed off" the section reserved for Dept. of Education Folks.
You might be forgiven for thinking you could park in the space immediately south of the second sign...except that you wouldn't. You'd be given a ticket for somewhere between $65 and $115 for parking there. If you left the car there with the ticket on it long enough, you could also get towed and get to pay an additional $185 for the honor of letting the city move your car. (If you don't want to pay the city for towing your car, you're welcome to leave it in their care for a while at a cost of $25 per day storage fee. Then you can get it back if you wish, but that's not gonna happen until you pay the towing fee, the storage fees and any outstanding tickets you may have.) Once again, we'll thank you for your
As long as we're on the subject of putting up new "No Parking" signs, here's another little wrinkle to throw into the mix. I've mentioned that I live in a neighborhood that's officially Landmarked. This means, among other things, you need special permits to replace your sidewalks and you can only do it with approved materials. In my neighborhood, you have to use a type of slate called "bluestone". Even when you're doing everything right, the permit process is a pain in the ass.
The city, on the other hand, doesn't have to follow their own rules.
A year or two ago, my neighbor went through this heinous process and put in a brand new bluestone sidewalk in front of his house. It looks nice. When the sign guys came by, they decided there weren't enough sign posts on our side of the street so they added some. In the case of the one in front of my neighbor's house, the sign-guy took a big honkin' 8'-long crowbar and proceeded to bash the shit out of one piece of bluestone until he had a large enough raggedy hole to use his post-hole digger. After he put up the sign, he slapped in some concrete to finish the job.
Nice job there, huh?
(Sorry, it rained last night and I didn't feel like sweeping my neighbor's sidewalk just to get you all a prettier picture.)