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  1. #1

    Default Parking Ticket on a Beach Municipal Parking Lot

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: Massachusetts

    I received a parking ticket stating "Prohibited Area". I am attaching the diagram showing where my car was parked (https://ibb.co/frCJdFG). The reason I parked there was that there were cars, both on my left and on my right, I was traveling south, saw a parking line on the southern side, but did not see that there was no line on the northern side (another car on the left was close). The lot was full. The beach hours are 9-5, I arrived at 6 pm, the ticket was written at 6:40 pm on Sunday. I would like to contest it. Here are some thoughts:

    1) There is no "no parking sign", there are no blocking white stripes, and there are no markings where the traffic lane behind it ends. If there were any markings I would certainly not parked there. Should the parking lot have "Prohibited area" marked somehow? Would it be reasonable to contest it base on insufficient markings? I certainty was confused by it. As a side note the lot does not have any 2-way or 1-way lane markings, which adds to the confusion.

    2) Is possible to dismiss it based on MGL Chapter 90 Section 20A, which says "If it is the first violation subject to this section committed by such person in a particular city or town in the calendar year, the parking clerk shall dismiss the charge without the payment of any fine;" (https://malegislature.gov/Laws/Gener...r90/Section20A). I am confused because there are some towns that accept the provision 20A, and some other towns which accept provision 20A 1/2, which does not seem to have this clause. How do I know which one applies in my case, or should both apply?

    3) I measured some distances and saw that the left-rear corner of my car was 28' away from the end of parking stalls on the opposite site. This is more than required for such a parking configuration (I believe it is 24' if both stalls are at 90 degrees and less if one or both stalls are at an angle; double row and one way isle at 45 degrees requires only 12' separation). So, I certainly was not obstructing anyone. (My car is only 13'2'') We have other parking lots, where some areas are marked with "no parking" signs (near doors, access ramps, etc.), but this area has no marking. Am I allowed to park in an unmarked area of a parking lot like this? In fact, there is a car on this google image parked inside the lot along the road at the Northern tip. Is he in violation?

    Do you think this ticket could be dismissed?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    16,389

    Default Re: Parking Ticket on a Beach Municipal Parking Lot

    Quote Quoting ilya980
    View Post
    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: Massachusetts

    I received a parking ticket stating "Prohibited Area". I am attaching the diagram showing where my car was parked (https://ibb.co/frCJdFG). The reason I parked there was that there were cars, both on my left and on my right, I was traveling south, saw a parking line on the southern side, but did not see that there was no line on the northern side (another car on the left was close). The lot was full. The beach hours are 9-5, I arrived at 6 pm, the ticket was written at 6:40 pm on Sunday. I would like to contest it. Here are some thoughts:

    1) There is no "no parking sign", there are no blocking white stripes, and there are no markings where the traffic lane behind it ends. If there were any markings I would certainly not parked there. Should the parking lot have "Prohibited area" marked somehow? Would it be reasonable to contest it base on insufficient markings? I certainty was confused by it. As a side note the lot does not have any 2-way or 1-way lane markings, which adds to the confusion.

    2) Is possible to dismiss it based on MGL Chapter 90 Section 20A, which says "If it is the first violation subject to this section committed by such person in a particular city or town in the calendar year, the parking clerk shall dismiss the charge without the payment of any fine;" (https://malegislature.gov/Laws/Gener...r90/Section20A). I am confused because there are some towns that accept the provision 20A, and some other towns which accept provision 20A 1/2, which does not seem to have this clause. How do I know which one applies in my case, or should both apply?

    3) I measured some distances and saw that the left-rear corner of my car was 28' away from the end of parking stalls on the opposite site. This is more than required for such a parking configuration (I believe it is 24' if both stalls are at 90 degrees and less if one or both stalls are at an angle; double row and one way isle at 45 degrees requires only 12' separation). So, I certainly was not obstructing anyone. (My car is only 13'2'') We have other parking lots, where some areas are marked with "no parking" signs (near doors, access ramps, etc.), but this area has no marking. Am I allowed to park in an unmarked area of a parking lot like this? In fact, there is a car on this google image parked inside the lot along the road at the Northern tip. Is he in violation?

    Do you think this ticket could be dismissed?

    Thanks.
    I don't clearly understand why you got the ticket. Was it because it was a parking lot for the beach and the beach was closed, or was it for some other reason? "Prohibited area" could mean a lot of things. I would tend to view that as you having parked somewhere that was not a parking place.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,843

    Default Re: Parking Ticket on a Beach Municipal Parking Lot

    He got the ticket because he parked in an aisle rather than a space. The distances mean squat. The fact that the there was no lines delinating the space matter. I suspect there's an ordinance that prohibits you from just leaving your car anywhere in the lot unless it's a space. The fact the lot was full doesn't authorize you to park anywhere you'll fit. The fact that there may have been others illegally parked doesn't exculpate you (as your mommy should have taught you, two wrongs do not make a right).

    20A is not mandatory, it starts with "each town acceptiong the provisions of this section..." You'll have to contact the city to see if they will waive the fine.

    Took me a few minutres, but I identified the jursidcition as Falmouth (Chapoquoit Beach).

    Falmouth indeed does not adopt 20A, only 20A 1/2.

    http://www.falmouthmass.us/DocumentC...cedures?bidId=

    You also know that parking there requries a sticker. That is not a public lot.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Parking Ticket on a Beach Municipal Parking Lot

    Flyingron, Thanks for confirming the 20A 1/2. The sticker is not required after 5 pm. (I have an email from the town beach department official confirming that). I came to the lot around 6 pm and was written at 6:40 pm. The issue, I believe, is not the sticker, but the absence of the white delineation on the left. But I can't find an ordinance requiring me to park only in the marked stalls. Here is the summary of the parking rules from the police department: http://falmouthpolice.com/wp-content...and-Orders.pdf Here is the town code (parking section): https://ecode360.com/9075637. I don't see any mentioning of the requirement to park only in areas delineated on both sides. In fact, we have parking lots, where only part of the lot is delineated, but another part is either without delineations or unpaved (or covered with blown-in sand).

    I think the distances matter because the standard isle with 90 degrees parking is 24', less with angled parking. Where is the eastern boundary of that isle? If the isle extends to where my car was, it would be wider than the standard 24' (or whatever distance is appropriate with 1-side angled) and irregular shape. I believe, in this situation appropriate visual markers are required, and those markers are absent. Attached is another image showing a few downtown parking lots where such areas are clearly marked by yellow stripes or other markings. https://ibb.co/25m2CT2. So, being 28' away from the opposite stall I reasonably assumed that I am not in the isle.

    I am not saying two wrongs make it right. I am truly asking the question whether we are allowed to park like I did (or the guy on the google image is parked). The reason I mentioned full parking lot is not to imply that I can park anywhere I fit, but to explain why I did not see the delineation on the left (because there was another car parked there due to lot being full).

    And yes, thanks for the critique. It would help me to strengthen the argument at the appeal.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    19,843

    Default Re: Parking Ticket on a Beach Municipal Parking Lot

    Why do you think you should be allowed to park in the passage ways? What did they cite you with exactly? The ordinance you quote is only the zoning requirements for creating parkign spaces.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Parking Ticket on a Beach Municipal Parking Lot

    I am confused. I am not saying I should park in a passage way. First you said I was parked in an isle. Now you are saying I was parked in a passage way. So, which one is it? If it is an isle, it should be standard width and geometry. If it is not standard width and geometry, there should be visual markers of its boundaries. If it is a passage way it should have striped paint and other signage. Many facilities have passage ways from stairs into the center of the parking lot, but they must have markings, just like on this same lot near the southern beach entrance, marked with white stripes. The area I parked in has no markings.

    I was cited with "Restricted Area". There is nothing else mentioned on the ticket. How was I supposed to know that this is a restricted area? Just by the fact that there were no white delineations on all 3 sides? There are parking lots with less than 3 or no delineations.

    The pdf from falmouthpolice is not the zoning requirements. I can't find any other bylaw, specifically a bylaw you said that "prohibits me from just leaving your car anywhere in the lot unless it's a space.", and the definition of the "space". Of course, I am not talking literally "anywhere". There are isles, passages, egress, fire hydrants, etc.

    Like I said, I would not have parked there if I realized there was no white line on the left. It would be helpful if you could send me a link to a document explaining how the "restricted area" is defined on a parking lot and how it should be marked.

    Here is the quote from the RMV driver's manual:

    It says "parking spaces are OFTEN marked with white road lines". Often, but not always. And I don't think any of the exemptions listed below apply to my case.

    Parking Regulations Parking regulations are generally determined by state law and enforced by local cities and towns. When these regulations are adopted by municipalities, they are often, but not always, similar to the state regulations. If you park in a business or residential district, your vehicle must be no more than 12 inches from the curb. The only exception is if angled parking is allowed. Parking spaces are often marked by white road lines. You must park your vehicle between these lines. You may not take part of two spaces. In Massachusetts, you may not park your vehicle in certain places. • In a zone posted with a NO PARKING, NO STANDING, or NO STOPPING sign • In a bicycle lane • In a bus stop (the penalty for parking in a posted bus stop is $100) • In a taxi stand • In a zone and at a time posted for street cleaning • In a posted loading zone • Within 20 feet of an intersection • In a crosswalk, in front of a driveway, or in front of a handicap-access ramp • I n a zone posted for HP-DV parking only (unless you have disabled person plates or placards, or disabled veteran plates). The fine for a first offense is $300. The fine for wrongful use of a disabled person or veteran plate or placard is a minimum of $500. • I n a striped crosshatch area next to an HP-DV space, even if you have disability plates or a placard • Within ten feet of a fire hydrant or fire lane • On a sidewalk, curb, center traffic island, or median • During a weather or roadway emergency • Facing the wrong way against traffic • On a state or an interstate highway, unless authorized • On the Massachusetts Turnpike (fines range from $15 - $100) • On a roadway in a rural area or outside a thickly settled district • In a traffic lane next to a row of parked vehicles (“double parked”) • To make nonemergency repairs to your vehicle

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Parking Ticket on a Beach Municipal Parking Lot

    Look here kiddo, don't get snippy with me. Aisle and passsageway are two ways of saying the same thing.

    You try your pathentic story with the town and see where it gets you. I recommend you be a bit5 more polite with them if you know what's good for you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    193

    Default Re: Parking Ticket on a Beach Municipal Parking Lot

    Your research missed an important page -

    http://falmouthpolice.com/parking/

    Which reads in part "Outside a delineated parking space (prohibited): Parking a vehicle outside a delineated parking space (i.e., lines marking the front, rear, and/ or side of a parking space for one vehicle)".

    I don't know where that is codified but it looks like you lose for not being in a delineated parking space.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Parking Ticket on a Beach Municipal Parking Lot

    Quote Quoting flyingron
    View Post
    Look here kiddo, don't get snippy with me. Aisle and passsageway are two ways of saying the same thing.

    You try your pathentic story with the town and see where it gets you. I recommend you be a bit5 more polite with them if you know what's good for you.
    I did not mean to offend you. Sorry if I did. I interpreted your answers as "isle" would be an area between two sets of parking stalls for cars to pass; and "passageway" would be a walkway for people between the beach stairs and the center of the lot, i.e. a pedestrian pathway to cross the 1-st isle and leading towards the center of the lot and the 2-nd isle. Similar to walkways across parking isles at large parking lots. That is why I asked, because from the lot design it is not clear, at least to me, knowing nothing about parking lot designs, what this space is designed for.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,999

    Default Re: Parking Ticket on a Beach Municipal Parking Lot

    If you were not parked between two parallel lines you were not in a designated parking space. It is just that simple no matter what your definitions of isle or walkway is. If I remember correctly (your link no longer works to the lot layout) you were parked with only one line on the right side of your car. That was not a designated parking space.

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