A parking spot can run drivers a pretty penny in Queens. In fact, one spot in a garage at 203rd Street and 43rd Ave. was advertised this week on Craigslist for $140 plus tax.
So some people use ingenuity to reserve a permanent spot on the street for free.
We've all seen the "No Parking" signs here and there, that don't look like they were posted by the City. The tip-off sometimes, is that they're on fences, or posted on private property.
The idea seems clear: The street in front of my land, is for my use. In some cases, like legal driveways, it's an advisory that one can't lawfully park there. But what about "No Parking" signs threatening towing where one is legally allowed to park?
The Dept. of Transportation, which is responsible for posting legal signs, did not respond to clarify regulations on self-posting. But Lt. Dan Heffernan of the said that as long as the signs are displayed on private land, the property owner can post them.
Cordoning off a portion of the road—another clever way to reserve a parking space—is not legal.
"You can't just go painting the road wherever you like," Heffernan said.
The Pear Tree co-op, seems to have employed both these methods. A "No Parking" sign posted on one of their large garbage disposals faces the road on one side of their driveway at located at 204th Street near 35th Ave. The sign is not registered in the DOT's database of legal signs.
On the other side of their driveway, and a portion of the road that would fit a sedan has been painted over—though it doesn't seem to be used for parking.
Six recycling and garbage cans, all labeled "Pear Tree Co-op" take up that space on collection days. They weren't there on Tuesday evening, when Patch checked back, but a google image snapped in 2007 shows large orange cone barriers reserving the spot.
One of the co-op residents living closest to the driveway said she knew nothing about the placement of the cans, but that the building superintendent would. The superintendent was either not home, or not answering when we knocked on his unit's door at around 5:30p.m. on Tuesday.
All the co-ops neighbors on 204th Street have private driveways, and so two of the building's neighbors we spoke to had no complaints about the cans or sign. Still, street parking for the was in short supply.
Heffernan said the DOT would be responsible to re-paint over the appropriated spot. The DOT did not respond for comment