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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    2

    Default Can You Block Your Own Driveway

    My question involves a traffic citation from the state of: NY

    Hello, I am currently in a bad situation where my car is blocked in my own driveway by the co-owner of our house. We have a short one-car driveway. She arrives home and parks on the street and blocks me in, so in order to get out, I have to ask her to move her car.

    I have told her this is illegal and she cannot do it. She says she can because she is a.)the home owner and she is blocking her own driveway and b.) a secretary for the police so she has "connections" and a parking permit that allows her to park wherever she wants.

    Due to our current situation (not speaking, but co-existing in dysfunctional harmony), I am trying to solve this without going to court (especially because I think she has connections). What can I do?

    Am I correct that in NY it is illegal to block a driveway, even if it is your own?
    What should i do?
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    1,995

    Default Re: Can You Block Your Own Driveway

    I'm in NY, and though it's too late in the evening to look up the statute, it is true that the owner of the house (name on the deed) is allowed to park in his own driveway, here in NY, or someone he gives permission to.

    I recall this law was passed because over-eager police trying to make quotas was ticketing owners parked in their own driveways. With exceptions such as situations like yours, it does sound ridiculous that you can't even park in front of your own driveway.

    This was quite a number of years ago, after an uproar over the ticketing, the law was passed and the exact intent was to make sure an owner of the house can park in front of his own driveway.

    I remember this well because before this law was passed, a tenant who rented a garage from my dad called the police after someone blocked him in. But because it took an hour for the police to come, that car already left, and because he was in a rush to go somewhere, now that he's late, left something in the house. He left the car in the driveway to retrieve it, and just then, the police arrived to issue a ticket, to the car in the driveway, his. So it turned out he called the cops on himself.

    He tried to fight it in court, but no luck, since you can be ticketed for parking in your own driveway - back then. No more, he could've have the ticket dismissed under the current law, since he rented the garage, got permission from the owner to park there.

    In fact, he dad still owns the property with the four garages, and when I visit him, I call ahead to say that I'll be parked in front of the tenant's driveway. It's an area where it's difficult to find parking, and my dad tells the tenants that when family visits, we get to park there, and by law, he can give anyone permission to park there.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Can You Block Your Own Driveway

    But...she's not parking in the driveway, she's parking in a public street, blocking access to a dwelling where he has legal standing.

    And, no one in any police department has "connections" when you route your inquiry through the internal affairs division. They will frown long and seriously over the thought that a public servant is purporting to have special rights as such an employee. Those who flash the idea that being in law enforcement makes you above the law often find themselves to be EX employees. Bad move on her part. I've seen many a police employee terminated for less.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    1,995

    Default Re: Can You Block Your Own Driveway

    Quote Quoting aardvarc
    View Post
    But...she's not parking in the driveway, she's parking in a public street, blocking access to a dwelling where he has legal standing.

    YES, what I mean is parking ON THE PUBLIC STREET in FRONT of the driveway, which is where I park when I visit my dad. In fact, this past week, they were doing "sewer construction". I parked my car on the sidewalk perpendicular blocking two garages, as his driveway is too short to hold a car. My dad took a look, told me I'll get a ticket for parking on the sidewalk, but it was all legal to park on the street in front of the garages. He left messages with his tenants that he gave me permission to park there. Sure enough one guy came by while I was there, and I had to move the car momentarily.

    Technically, his driveways are 4 foot long, and I am parked about 6 inches into the sidewalk part, perpendicular, but I'm told he's seen cars parked that way ticketed. Move the car onto the public street in front, and I am legal.

    One of the reasons the law was written to permit this was that most homeowners park one car IN the driveway, and one car IN FRONT, ON THE STREET, due to shortages of parking space here in NY, and the law was written to specifically to address that. I guess the law did not address cases where there are two owners, and they're NOT on speaking terms.

    Currently, there is another uproar in some areas where driveway is too short, and cars get ticketed for protruding several inches to a foot into the sidewalk. Homeowers are claiming that since building plans were approved that way, the city should have known the driveways are too short, and this would have happened. Police were told to suspend ticketing while the law is being reviewed.

    Now, I got a neighbor down the street with a driveway long enough for 1-1/2 cars. He parks two of them in the driveway, with one protruding into the sidewalk leaving 6 inches for people to walk with one car parked on the street in front. I can call and have the protruding car ticketed, but the car in front of the driveway is all legal.

    If it wasn't for this law, I would've had to park in a public lot 15 minutes walk from my dad's place, or be ticketed. Mercifully, this is one of the few cases where a law was crafted that made life more bearable for homeowners, particularly for me, and I am thankful.

    Yes, I'm a homeowner where I live, in NY, and I park one car in the driveway, and one in front on the street, for the past 15 years.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2008
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    1,995

    Default Re: Can You Block Your Own Driveway

    Here's the traffic rules for NYC, NYC, traffic rule s.4-08(f)(2) that allows for owners to park in front of their driveways on the street:

    (2) Driveways. In front of a public or private driveway, except that it shall be permissible for the owner, lessor or lessee of the lot accessed by a private driveway to park a passenger vehicle registered to him/her at that address in front of such driveway, provided that such lot does not contain more than two dwelling units and further provided that such parking does not violate any other provision of the Vehicle and Traffic Law or local law or rule concerning the parking, stopping or standing of motor vehicles. The prohibition herein shall not apply to driveways that have been rendered unusable due to the presence of a building or other fixed obstruction and, therefore, are not being used as defined in section 4-01(b) of these rules.


    For the complete copy of the traffic code, it is at:

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/trafrule.pdf

    and go to page 27 for this section.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Can You Block Your Own Driveway

    Hi Everyone, I read each comments and it's been very helpful at clarifying if the owner can block his own driveway.

    I have a question for the audience with a situation that I am in.
    My driveway and my neighbors driveway is side by side, with a fence between. Mine is 1 car driveway, his is a 2 car driveway. Separating the driveway entrance ramp is about 2 1/2 feet cement sidewalk. kind of like
    His driveway My driveway
    \_______/------\_____/

    I allowed my tenant to block my driveway at night, since he comes home late, when he can't find any space. When blocking my driveway it goes over the imaginary property line, (if there was one in a public street). So his car would fully block my driveway and a little on that 2 1/2 feet cement sidewalk, but never to the point of blocking the neighbors driveway.

    But my neighbor is complaining to ME that I'm blocking his driveway. He's complaining and blaming me because i allow the tenant to do so. My tenant has never blocked his driveway. After questioning and arguing with the neighbor, it turned out, the just don't want him or anyone past that imaginary property line on the street.

    The man is a hypocrite and spike full as he's doing the same thing now. blocking his own driveway backing up all the way back to where my driveway ramp starts, making it hard for us to turn in or back out.

    He harasses my family when we pull the car up double parked to load up the kids saying we are on his property.

    What can I do about it? Any recommendations?

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