Eyes on the Street: Next-Gen No Standing Signs in Inwood

Southwest corner of Park Terrace West and W. 218th Street. Photos: Brad Aaron

The city recently replaced four parking spots at Park Terrace West and W. 218th Street, in Inwood, with a no standing zone. The 34th Precinct reportedly requested the change to give drivers exiting Park Terrace West, a northbound one-way street, a better view of east-west traffic on 218th.

Inevitably, car owners accustomed to parking at the intersection complained, and those complaints, many of which were posted on a neighborhood email list, led to a story by DNAinfo. Here’s a taste:

At least seven residents said they were ticketed or towed after the new signs went up late last month.  Local parenting email list InwoodKids was recently flooded with parent complaints about the new parking regulations.

Inwood mother Beth More said she and her husband were ticketed and towed in the new zone on Jan. 5 after arriving home from the holidays.

“We had no idea the new signs were posted,” she told DNAinfo. “In fact, we were sure our car was stolen at first and never even thought to look up.”

The couple has appealed the $75 parking ticket and will fight for reimbursement of the $185 tow charge.

“I, like many others in the neighborhood, question if this really was a matter of safety or simply an opportunity for the city and police precinct to ticket more,” she said.

Several city and police sources said summonses issued just days after the new signs were installed are likely to be dismissed.

In case the no standing signs still don’t get the message across — a possibility, considering the illegally parked car out of frame in the above photo — on Sunday I saw a couple of homemade posters warning drivers not to park near the intersection.

I have driven this corner. I also walk it regularly. As a driver it was very difficult to detect whether cars on 218th were approaching without either inching into the Park Terrace West crossing or nosing into cross traffic. As a pedestrian I also appreciate that drivers have better sightlines. While it’s understandable that some were angry about being caught off guard, the idea that the city would look to raise revenue by clearing four parking spots at a blind intersection — and installing the proper signage, no less — smacks of Agenda 21-level paranoia.

Southeast corner, with no standing sign in the background.

How’s this for DIY messaging: Summons for parking in a no standing zone: $115. Fee to park almost anywhere else in Inwood: $0. Preserving life and limb through improved visibility: Priceless.

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