NEW YORK. Last year, in New York, a man died while parking his car. Parking accidents can certainly happen, but in New York, parking takes on a unique meaning thanks to the city’s alternate side parking rules. According to the New York Post, the man’s head became wedged between his car and a tree while he was backing his car into a parking spot. Everyone was horrified as the tragedy unfolded, but by the time people noticed what had happened, it was too late.
According to Crain’s alternate side parking is a reality for people who live and drive in New York. At least once per week, streets in the city reserve one and a half to two hours for street cleaning. During this time, drivers need to move their cars. Unfortunately, because of heavy traffic in New York, drivers will either ride in circles around the neighborhood looking for a space, adding to traffic, or block city streets waiting for parking to become available. Other drivers will double park and yet others will wait in their car and move when the street cleaner comes. Every neighborhood has its own customs regarding alternate side parking. In some neighborhoods, it is acceptable to double park, while in others, drivers sit in their cars and move when the street cleaner comes. One thing is for sure. Alternate side parking creates a traffic nightmare.
The process can create unique risks for bicyclists in the city, for example. As drivers move their cars from one side of the road to the other, they may not always be looking out for bikers who may be riding to work (alternate side parking sometimes occurs during rush hour times). Another issue is that drivers may open their doors to get out of their cars after double parking, posing an unexpected door hazard for bikers riding down the street.
Pedestrians could be at risk, too. With more drivers on the road searching for parking spaces, these drivers may not always be looking out for pedestrians crossing the street. Alternate side parking also creates its own risk for car crashes, with more cars reversing into spaces, or stopping and starting suddenly while searching for parking spots.
Alternate side parking is needed to keep New York City’s streets clean, for sure. But drivers have a responsibility to watch out for pedestrians, bikers, and other drivers when parking. The worst case scenario are hit and run accidents, where drivers hit a mirror or crash into the side of a car and don’t tell the driver.
If you’ve been injured in an alternate side parking accident or your car has suffered damage as a result of a hit and run driver, you may have rights under the law. Antin, Ehrlich, & Epstein, L.L.P. are car accident lawyers in New York who work with victims to help them seek the damages they may deserve under the law. If you’ve been hurt in a crash in New York, We may be able to help you seek the damages you may be entitled to receive.
Antin, Ehrlich & Epstein, LLP
Attorneys at Law
49 West 37th Street, Floor 7
New York, NY 10018