Parking enforcement officials, also known as meter maids, have started to get busy again in New York City and New Jersey as of late. With the pandemic restrictions mostly lifted, you can once again expect a ticket whenever you intentionally or inadvertently park in the wrong place. As a result, here is a quick guide to some well-known and not so well-known parking regulations in the five boroughs, and their counterparts in New Jersey. These will mostly focus on where you cannot park.
In New York City, you cannot park with 30 feet of a Stop sign. This is two car lengths. In New Jersey, it is even farther, at 50 feet. This is four car lengths. If you think this might be excessive, and has no true grounding in realistic safety concerns, you may be right.
But it isn’t worth getting a ticket to argue that point. There is no car or truck that is so large that it would block the view of the Stop sign from four car lengths back, and in 2010 when the New Jersey laws were revised, they probably erred too far on the side of caution.
For crosswalks, in New York City the distance must be at least 20 feet. This is about one and a half car lengths. In New Jersey, it is again a bit further, at 25 feet. This makes sense, as it can be difficult to see someone walking in a crosswalk if there is a car parked too close to it.
Everyone knows you cannot park in front of a driveway, and luckily for residents of Brooklyn and some of the urban New Jersey towns, you can park right up to the edge of the driveway, with no additional leeway needed.
You also cannot park within 50 feet of a railroad crossing. This is the same for both New York and New Jersey. Since a train could potentially derail (it is rare but it does happen), being this far from the crossing would save your car from damage in this unlikely event.
And here is a really strange one that you may not know about. In New York, not only do you have to park 20 feet away from the driveway of a Fire Station, but you must also be 75 feet from the entrance if you are parked on the opposite side of the street. This one is definitely not well known in New York or New Jersey, but it is the regulation in both states.
You can also not stop or stand within 15 feet of a fire hydrant in New York, and within 10 feet of one in New Jersey. In any case, all drivers should be doing this already. If there is a fire, and your car is parked in front of the hydrant without a driver, you will lose your windows.
It has happened before, and it happens all the time. The firemen will simply use the end of their hose to break whatever windows are in the way, passing the hose right through your car. So, it would be wisest not to be anywhere near a hydrant when you should not be.
In New Jersey, the regulations passed in 2010 require you to be parked within 6 inches of the curb wherever you park. This is much closer than most of the other states require, and most roads in New Jersey are quite wide, including residential streets. It is obvious from observation that most residents are not familiar with this regulation. In New York City, you must be less than one foot from the curb.
Finally, double parking is illegal in both states. It is also hazardous, as it creates an unexpected roadblock that some motorists may miss. Many a door has been lost because the driver double parked and expected everyone else to see them and not take off their door when passing on a too-narrow street.
So to summarize, there are several regulations that Staten Islanders should become aware of with regard to parking if they travel to New Jersey. The most notable differences are for Stop signs, crosswalks, and fire hydrants.
While the latter two are not much different, the Stop sign distance is much farther. It would be really easy to get a ticket in New Jersey if you are not paying attention to where the Stop sign is when you are parking.
And since it does not state in the law that the Stop sign must be facing you, there is a possibility that if you park on a corner and a Stop sign is on the corner behind your car, you may get a ticket then, too.
So the rule is, as it has always been, to pay attention to your surroundings and to park only in the proper places.