NYC to quintuple fines for illegal street painting

April 29, 2013 | 0 Comments

Some New York City residents get aggressive about saving their parking spot, painting curbs yellow or scrawling messages like “24 Hour No Parking” in spray paint to prevent others from parking. Although street painting like this is considered illegal defacement, many still risk it, reasoning that other drivers and law enforcement officials will not realize the signs are fake.

illegal street painting

This street painting on a curb Brooklyn, NYC illegally claims the territory (image by Laser Burners).

The New York Times reports, “The city’s Transportation Department has proposed a sizeable deterrent: quintupling the fine for “street defacement” to $250, from $50 — where it has stood for more than 20 years. The department said complaints had doubled, to more than 1,300 annually, in the last five years.”

It is perhaps not surprising that parking space in New York City is scarce and therefore valuable. Real estate in the city is some of the most pricey in the world. As Daily News reports, “The most expensive homes in New York City average between $2,030 and $2,240 per square foot.” But it’s not just penthouses that are worth a pretty penny in NYC. “The most valuable space in New York is curb space,” said Mitchell Moss, director of the Rudin Center for Transportation at New York University. “Streets and sidewalks have become so important to New York that now we’re seeing people trying to claim ownership.”

DOT No Parking Sign

The DOT logo is clearly visible on this sign. (Image by Mike Castle)

For those wondering how to differentiate genuine street painting signs from counterfeit ones, Louis Camporeale, author of The New York City Parking Survival Guide, has a simple answer. “The regulation sign must state “Department of Transportation” (DOT). Any sign without this designation is not a valid New York City parking regulation sign.”

Although DOT has tried for years to encourage NYC residents to use new bike lanes and pedestrian plazas, it now plans to see whether a higher fine will serve as a more effective deterrent. Violators have 30 days to paint over the illegal street painting before a summons is issued. 305 summonses have been delivered since 2008.

NYC’s growing density of both people and cars has led to a parking shortage in many areas like Queens, where illegal street painting is rampant. One violator there, Antonio Moretto, argued, “Everyone has a painted curb — everyone.” He has now retired to New Port Richey, Florida, where he said, “Everybody has a spot.”

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Category: News, No Parking, Regulations

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