NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There’s growing frustration in Manhattan, after drivers say they’re being unfairly ticketed for just parking their cars.
A sign is there — but its visibility questionable at best. CBS2’s Jessica Layton went demanding answers from the city over this alleged ticket trap.
That’s what drivers are calling the stretch of West 125th Street in Harlem.
“It’s not fair at all,” one driver said.
The building between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and Lenox Avenue is under construction. The “no standing” sign there is now hidden behind metal that’s part of the scaffolding.
“I don’t see any sign over there,” another driver said.
Layton pointed it out to several drivers after others told CBS2 they came outside to find parking tickets on their windshields for $115 a pop.
“$115 is a lot of money… Especially a ticket for a sign that’s covered up,” Harlem resident Dilcy Benn said.
Benn even paid the nearby meter $2 for her spot, thinking it was legal – so now she’s out $117!
“I have no idea who dropped the ball here.”
So CBS2 demanded answers, starting with the NYPD traffic enforcement agent handing out those tickets.
“You cannot see it says no standing from here. You cannot see it says no standing. Do you guys really think this is fair?” Layton asked the officer.
The agent argued you “can” see it – if you’re right underneath it.
The officer then said it’s a driver’s responsibility to check the block for signs before they park.
“They have to look for signs hiding under scaffolding?” Layton replied.
“It’s not 100 percent hiding,” the agent countered.
The Department of Buildings told CBS2 it is illegal to block traffic signs and parking signs with sidewalk sheds.
The agency is sending an inspector to the site Thursday morning to see if the scaffolding was installed properly.
After CBS2’s calls, the DOT and NYPD were out taking photos of the sign. Drivers plan to take pictures too – and challenge the alleged ticket trap.
“I’m gonna fight it,” a ticketed driver out taking pictures said.
CBS2 also called the scaffolding company, Triborough Scaffolding and Hoisting. They said they weren’t aware of the problem and would have to check with their contractor.
After alerting the city to the problem, the Department of Buildings sent an inspector to the site who found the parking sign is blocked by the sidewalk shed. As a result, DOB issued a violation against Triborough Scaffolding.
Now it’s up to the scaffolding company to either fix the shed so the parking sign isn’t hidden or request that the Department of Transportation move the sign. So far, there’s been no sign of the traffic agent who was giving out the questionable tickets.
After pressing police on this issue, the NYPD said drivers can dispute their ticket, even if you already paid the fine.