How to Park Your Motorcycle on the Street, in NY

It’s a strange feeling, the first time you leave your bike unattended on the streets of New York. Someone could just go sit on it and start messing around. A car could knock it over while parking. Anyone could come over and steal it. But the remarkable thing is…you CAN park on the streets, and it CAN be safe! Of course there are real “dangers” to worry about, but there are some simple things you can do to minimize the chances of it. First let’s talk about WHERE you can park in NYC…

Parking on the Sidewalk

Out in the boroughs you can get away with parking on the sidewalk for a few hours or even overnight without getting a ticket. Right now the parking ticket people use handheld scanners to write their tickets. They simply scan the registration sticker on the windshield of cars. This way they cut down on ticket-writing errors (which I think they are penalized for) and can get out more tickets in a shorter amount of time. What this means for motorcyclists (since bike’s don’t have bar codes or registration stickers) is they don’t bother with bikes…most of the time. As a result you can get away with parking on sidewalks provided it’s not a busy/crowded pedestrian area or near an intersection, etc. If you have a cover for your bike you can go even longer… Although I think you are technically obscuring the license plate with anything, like a bike cover, is a ticketable offense, it seems to have the opposite effect: when you’re parked on an out-of-the-way street (i.e., side street with numbers, not a busy Avenue like Broadway) the DOT people will usually ignore your bike. You can do this regularly in the boroughs (Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx for sure) and to a lesser extent in some of the residential parts of Manhattan (i.e., non-main streets in Morningside, Harlem, Hell’s Kitchen, etc…) If you’re worried about cars knocking over your bike, the sidewalk is the safest way to go. But be warned! They CAN ticket you for this!

[[Personal disclosure: If I’m leaving the bike overnight and won’t be riding early the next morning, I’ll park on the sidewalk and chain a wheel up to a street sign, then put a cover on it. So far so good.]]

Parking your Motorcycle on the Street

The good news is, if you park between cars in metered spots, you can often get away with NOT feeding the meter… As along as you’re not blocking a car from parking, you can park in the spot between cars as long as you like. Just make sure parking is allowed… during street cleaning times, or “commercial vehicles only” times you will get a ticket, or worse…

diagram A

When parking on the street in between cars I like to find “end spots” – a spot that will be easy for cars to get in and out of… A spot where a car can just pull out and pull in, like at the end of a block where the car is not boxed-in. Sometimes there are construction signs or dumpsters parked on the street – as long as there’s no construction going on, I try to park between the construction equipment and the first parked car…there’s usually plenty of space.

Also, my personal feeling is that busy streets and avenues are safer to park in than empty streets… I think drivers are a little more careful about not bumping into things (while parking) when there are lots of people around… In the Upper West Side if I can’t find an “end spot” I’ll park between a couple of small cars in metered spots on Broadway. I try to park just a foot or so ahead of the meter…that’s usually good the way the meters are spaced on Broadway.

If you can’t find an end spot, look for an area where the cars are not likely to move before you return such as residential areas. And if you can’t find a decent spot in a residential area, try to park at a metered spot near a restaurant with outdoor seating. Metered spots tend to be spacious, so you’ll have enough space, but also no one wants to be the idiot who knocks over a bike in front of all those witnesses. This helps control the risk of parking on the street.

Parking your Motorcycle in Parking Lots…

There are some lots that park a good number of bikes in the Upper West Side…so I imagine there are a few all over the island. My friend has a monthly spot near 72nd for $150 a month, and says there are a handful of bikes there. You want to find out in advance if a lot is bike friendly… If you don’t see any motorcycles as you enter near the front, they’re probably not… But if you do, then paid parking lots can give you some peace of mind… Be warned however! Parking lots usually state they are not responsible for any damage – and damage DOES occur (who knows what’s going on in there) for some strange reason…so if you just need a few hours of parking, and you’re not riding the latest high-end Ducati, my advice is to find a good street spot (like an end spot) first.

Let’s talk security…

Use your steering lock. Duh! But a steering lock isn’t enough to deter thieves or trouble-makers… In addition I like to use a good brake lock, an On-Guard Chain (which I keep at home, too heavy to carry on a ride), and a bike cover which I tie underneath the bike with bungee cords. All of these can be defeated by a determined thief (or three guys with a pickup truck) – but each item makes it just a little more difficult to pull off while parked on a busy city street with pedestrians walking by. I usually leave the chain and the bike cover at home, but I never leave without the disk lock… It’s cheap ($16 at or you can get one with an alarm (for $100), and it fits under the seat of my storage-challenged 600rr. Just remember to take it off before you ride. There are also locks that go over the clutch lever on your handle bar, which I’ve never tried, but seem like a good idea… Of course a determined thief can get past all of these measures, but that’s why it’s good to park where there are people around… NY crowds are the best security measure against crooks hacking your chain or removing a wheel to tow your bike.


Riding a motorcycle is about freedom… You don’t have to let the city take that away from you. You’re not free if you’re worried about your bike every minute it’s parked on the street – or if you have to pay an arm and a leg for garage parking. So develop your parking skills and ride (and park) safe! If you want more, here’s a guide that got me started (a little outdated): Motorcycle Parking

For more tips, archived articles, and plain ole’ citybiking fun, click over to our new URL:!


46 responses to “How to Park Your Motorcycle on the Street, in NY

  1. Scooter riders have some suggestions as well…

  2. Good article. Especially the diagram. I see a lot of rider leave their bikes parked just waiting to get knocked over (even happened to me once or twice).

    I’ve been parking in NYC for 3 years now. Living in Brooklyn and riding to work everyday for 6 month every year I’ve probably parked my motorcycle every legal and illegal way possible.

    At first, I wanted to add to the parking diagram. As correct as it is, you can mitigate the risk of someone knocking your bike over by putting your motorcycle at a 45% angle to the curve with the front wheel locked down. Make sure your rear wheel is contact with the curb. This will make it much easier for a car behind you to pull out and in case the car in front does back into your bike, the bike won’t fall down because your front wheel (that is no parallel to the curb and direction of travel) will work as a bumper. Your bike won’t roll back because it’s already backed up into the curb.

    Now, as far as parking. As I’ve mentioned above, I’ve tried every combination. Last several years I park in midtown, especially around Rock Center. I’ll be honest, the cops there don’t need a second chance to write you a ticket (or 3 at once as I’ve received several years ago). The trick is to make it difficult for meter maids to ticket you. Take off your plates and cover your bike. I try avoiding the sidewalks because my 1300cc cruiser is somewhat inconspicuous. Also, be prepared to get that ticket once in a while. Never pay it up front. Fight it, assuming it’ll properly get entered into NYPD Database. Worst case – the city will offer you a discount if you agree to pay the fine.

    Here’s something I’ve observed this season that bothers me a lot. If someone could shed some light on my question, I’d appreciate an answer. Over the last several years I’ve seen dozens of us park our bikes in NYC (meaning we ride to work) but this season I hardly see any motorcycles parked on the streets. What’s forcing us to leave our bikes at home and get on that crowded subway?

  3. Well said. Also watch out for parking your bike “beyond marked space”. A parking ticket I just received refers to Code 62: “Standing or parking a vehicle beyond markings on the curb or the pavement of a street which designate a parking space…”

    In my case I was parked between the last car and a cross walk. I was parked between the front of the car and before the marked line of the cross walk. Obviously will be arguing this one.

  4. I’ve recently purchased a bike and find the advice on this site really useful – many thanks! Just the other day, I was ticketed for obscuring my license plate with my bike cover ( during a rain storm). The meter maid helped him/herself to lift my bike cover and take down my license plate anyway. Just wanted to know if anyone else had this happen to them and if they had any success fighting this type of ticket? I’ve been told that in London for instance, going under a bike cover is illegal and requires a warrant.

  5. It sounds like the meter maids are cracking down on motorcycles – Adam and Russ, could you tell us what neighborhoods you got the tickets in?

  6. I am in Forest Hills, Queens. Unfortunately, I wouldnt of had this problem if there were more Motorcycle friendly garages in this area – or at least ones that didnt charge $175 a month. ‘

    On a seperate note, can someone recommend any Motorcycle clubs in NYC ?

  7. I work near Rock Plaza as well and am about to purchase my first bike. I’ve been looking around and noticed that you don’t see bikes parked in midtown at all. ANyone have midday midtown parking suggestions? Would love to drive in to work every day!

  8. Unfortunately Rock Center is probably right in the middle of the busiest part of Manhattan… I’m pretty sure there’s nothing street level around there – but I could be wrong.

    You’d probably have to go north a bit closer to Columbus Circle – there’s Muni Street parking around 57th Street that works – or south to Herald Square (there are a few bikes on 33rd bet B’way and 7th, for instance)… But both of these are a bit of a trek.

    If you were willing to take the walk, you can get away with parking on the sidewalk (near the other bikes) on 33rd, but you’d better leave it on the street around Columbus circle.

    Anyone know if there are motorcycle-friendly garages around Rock Center?

  9. Russ, did you get your ticket in Forest Hills? That’s not right.

  10. Citybiker, yes got it in Forest Hills. I agree – its a $65 fine to0, which isn’t the highest fine, but still unjustified. Any suggestions for fighting the ticket would be appreciated. I’m forced to leave the back half of my sports bike uncovered, which appears to be causing rust on my chain and rear brake.

  11. Chris, I’ve been parking my bike around 30 rock plaza for 2 years. Rule 1: never ever park within 1 block of the skate ring. The cops there a vicious, they do go under the cover to give you a ticket. Rule 2: I’m sometimes seeing NYPD flatbed trucks in the morning towing unlicensed motorcycles / vespas = try not to leave your bike in a place where you need to take the plates off (I do it because sometimes there’s just no parking and it’s better to leave it on 49th and 5th w/o plates then come back to a ticketed bike). 3 – I am very fortunate (so far) to find safe parking on 51st between 6th ave and 7th ave on the right-hand side about 100 feet from 6th.

    Note to all. Sports bikes with expensive fairings need 3x as much protection as regular cruisers or older bikes. There’s a serge in crotch rocket thefts in NYC. Please secure your property, and, buy an alarm. I highly recommend a gorilla alarm = $80, 15 min to install, it has deterred unwanted individuals from my bike at least several times.

    Good luck riders, see you on the road.

  12. Hey i have a quick question for you guys. If i just want a bike to keep a parking spot occupied in front of my house, What would i need? Does the bike need to be registered? Do i have to go through special hoops (like a special license) and what are the rules for the covers? Do you guys have any phone number/site where i can get information about it.

  13. Hey P Sin, although I don’t condone what you’re thinking of doing…if you’re thinking of parking a bike just to hold a parking spot for your car… nevertheless the answers to your questions in NYC are:

    You need a license plate, up to date registration sticker, and up to date inspection sticker (both issued yearly). Any vehicle on the road needs to have these minimum requirements.

    Covers that obscure plates or stickers are technically not allowed, according to ticket folks, but they’re almost always tolerated because (i think) tickets for obscuring plates are easy to fight… (how hard is it to lift a cloth cover?) So anyone parking a bike on the street probably *should* use a cover – unless the local ticket people take issue with it.

    All this info should be buried somewhere on the NY DOT site if you want to double check it…


  14. Hello,
    Thank you for all the helpful information.
    I got a bike this summer and since I got it, I have parked it and covered it on the sidewalk in front of my place. I live in a busy area, but there is a huge sidewalk area, a big triangular swath where the street and avenue meet at a sharp angle. I park it in between a planter and a lamp post, an out of the way section of sidewalk where people wouldn’t walk. Anyhow, for over three months it was there every night and many days, until a week and a half ago, on a very windy winter day, when I came home from work it was gone.
    My neighbor saw it happen, and he said that the wind had partially lifted the cover of the bike, so that it was flapping around and, I figured, it had probably exposed the license plate.
    The cops saw the plate and towed it, I thought. I asked the people at the tow pound and also the person who answers the phone at the precinct if they could tell me why my bike had suddenly been towed after it had not for so many days. Of course they could offer no direct or straight answer.

    Anyhow, figuring this was a fluke, not wanting to shell out the money for a garage, and not living in a place near any street parking without early morning sweeping, I put it back in its old spot, covered it, and bungeed the cover very tightly to make sure it would withstand the strongest wind. That worked for about a week, and this morning it got towed again.

    I wrote all this in part to share the experience. It seems not only will police discreetly lift a cover to get at a plate, they will undo several well fastened bungees as well.

    They ticket and tow immediately, without offering a chance to move it.

    Also, I am wondering if anyone has any advice on how to fight the ticket. They ticket and tow immediately. I don’t see any way around paying the tow fee, but the ticket I figure I could get reduced. I have read in several forums like this that it is illegal for the cops to lift the covers with warrant. My suspicion is that it is not true, but I am wondering if anyone knows anything more about this.

    Needless to say, after I get my bike back, I’ll buckle down and get a spot in a garage. Oh well. It’s just disappointing that I can’t keep my bike in front of the place where I live, even though it wasn’t an eyesore nor was it in the way of anybody. In fact, I can’t count the times that tourist noticed me parking or uncovering my bike and asked me for directions to some destination. For a while it seemed like my bike was a welcome part of the community of that corner as was I as its rider. Sadly, no more.

    Thanks a lot,


  15. Hey Jesse,

    So sorry to hear about your bike being towed, twice!

    I would ask the building manager if he/she heard anything about it. One way to bring the tow truck in a hurry is to call 311 and make a complaint… So that might solve the mystery as to why they decided all-of-a-sudden to tow your bike now. Also, if you’re in Manhattan – film crews… They tow cars, they will also tow bikes.

    Can we ask you a couple of questions that might help other folks?

    1. What neighborhood are you in? It sounds like somewhere in Manhattan – Murray Hill or the West Village? Enforcement varies from neighborhood to neighborhood so it’s good to know… It’s also good to know that they didn’t ticket you right away – but only after a few days – so maybe folks who are just parking for a couple of hours will be okay.

    2. Did you chain it up? I usually recommend using the highest rated OnGuard chains and locks. These things pretty much cannot be cut with hand held tools, and might even encourage the police to leave a warning ticket first.

    3. Were you parked closer to the curb or closer to the building? The first few feet in front of any building is actually the responsibility of the building owner. If you parked right up against the building, they probably would not be able to ticket you legally (unless the landlord requested it). But if you were near the curb, that is city property, and they can do what they want.

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

  16. PS – I’m pretty sure the police are allowed to lift the cover on anything left on public property… So if they found a bag – they’re allowed to open it up and look inside.

    By the way, what was the violation that they put on your ticket?

  17. I once got a ticket for “sharing a meter” with a car. What is your take on that?

    Also, does one post a muni-meter receipt on a bike? If so, how?

  18. Hey Barry,

    This is another example of the difficulty caused by a lack of dedicated motorcycle parking in NYC. The city doesn’t realize what a benefit bikers are to congestion and parking.

    If you had the muni receipt, you could mail it in and get the ticket dismissed. Was this the head-in muni parking like in Queens, or the muni-meters on the streets in Manhattan? I could see the meter maids in Flushing ticketing a bike in a spot.

    In Manhattan, as long as it is not “Commercial Vehicles only” or some other No Parking time, bikes can park between cars on the street at Muni Meters without paying. The one catch would be the maximum parking time – if the maximum you could park a car there is 2 hours, then a bike could get ticketed if it was there all day (which I wouldn’t recommend anyway).

    In Queens, I’ve gotten away with parking in areas where cars can’t fit, and that aren’t pedestrian walkways – although I wouldn’t be surprised if I got a ticket one day.

    You can always buy a Muni receipt, and if you get a ticket, just mail it in as “not-guilty” along with the receipt. I wouldn’t leave the receipt on the bike… But that shouldn’t even be necessary.

    I personally don’t recommend going down to the courthouse to argue a ticket unless you really have plenty of free time – but you could try mailing in a not-guilty plea… Perhaps you taped a muni receipt to your windscreen and it was stolen?

  19. in reference to what you said about the meters this is not true. even if you leave room for cars to park you would still have to pay since you are in front of the meter. i called 311 and they said that scooters and motorcycles are treated as motor vehicles and you have to pay the meters. parking between cars that are by the meters is ok as long as the meter you’re in front of is paid. if the meter has expired, even if the cars are there you can get hit with a ticket.

  20. Pingback: Top Five Posts: Summer 08 « CityBiker: NY on Two Wheels

  21. Pingback: Motorcycles Too Pricey? Rent One Instead - Wheels Blog -

  22. NYC Motorcycle Advocate

    4-15-10 So I’ve been towed twice in a month and asked a traffic cop what is going on: Bloomberg signed an order to tow all scooters and motorcycles that violate any parking ordinance. Send a quick email or call 311 complaining that they need to promote motos to reduce traffic and pollution. Power in numbers

  23. I live on 47st betw. 9th and 10th. near a fire hydrant, on one side is a scooter and other is a large motorcycle. Closer than 15 feet, both covered. scooter has no plate, other cycle has. both been parked there for a few weeks, never moved. precinct will look into it and maybe tow. what say? anyone.

  24. This info was very much helpful, I got moved the first day, to the sidewalk, so someone could get my spot… No problems now that i know the ideal riders spot.

  25. Thank you for this helpful site. I recently purchased my first bike and will be riding to the city alot. This wednesday will be my first time. I am more in lower manhattan cause I attended BMCC. I guess its good that I have all evening classes since that whole area opens up to public parking at 7pm. Also being a Army Veteran and still serving Army Reserve troop doesn’t get me out of tickets. They completely disregard my DoD decals, that are needed to gain access all military installations, on my car and pretty sure going to be the same on my bike.

  26. Long ago while living on the upper west side, I would park my bike up against my building which being at the end of the block was adjacent to the sidewalk. I received tickets for parking on the sidewalk. My building had curves and I made a diagram showing that I was inside the rectangle of the building plot and not on the sidewalk although it was all cement and would be thought of as the sidewalk. I won every single time and my tickets were always dismissed.

  27. Hey lads,

    I go to LIU college in brooklyn (Flatbush and Dekalb). Has anyone parked their bikes there? It’s a bust area and a lot of brownies and tow trucks which make me nervous. I checked with local garage and they want 150 a month. I wanted to leave my bike outside, chain it to a sign on a sidewalk. I need to park there only for daytime. I was thinking about cover but I think homeless people will steal it. Neighbourhood doesn’t look friendly. Any advice? Thanks in advance

    • Hey Frank,

      I wouldn’t rush to park on the sidewalk in that area… might want to check first with the folks because I think there are a few of them from Brooklyn. If you wanted to hike it a bit, and park it closer to Grimaldi’s I think you can find some street parking in the residential areas – and get away with sidewalk parking in a pinch…

      Also – no you can’t park in the bicycle kiosks… although that would be nice.


  28. Hello All. Planning a trip to NYC in June from the Midwest. Anyone know of “inexpensive” and “secure” parking near Times Square? I found a ramp for $39/24 hrs, about 1/2 what the freaking hotel charges! Thanks! jevers

  29. Look up

  30. Hi everyone, I’m going to be bringing my new (to me) 1991 Honda Nighthawk CB250 home to Spanish Harlem (101st & 3rd) from Queens (where seller’s located) tomorrow. I’m pretty confused by alternate side parking and I can’t seem to find a good resource. Do I just have to ensure my bike is not parked on the ‘restricted’ side of the street during the hours listed on the sign? I.e., I can park it for the day on the other side of the street (assuming it’s not restricted as well)? Oh and if anyone has tips for parking a bike in Financial District (Pine St. & Nassau area), those would be gratefully accepted. Finally, I see a lot of bikes without chains…I don’t have one yet, how great of a risk am I running ’til I get some security on my bike ASAP? Thanks a lot everyone, see you on the streets of NYC!

  31. deftpheasant – welcome!

    Yeah, for alternate side, you just have to read the parking sign carefully so that you’re not parked there during the street cleaning times (probably 2x a week). It’s always one side of the street or the other – never both sides at the same time; hence the name.

    You should buy a motorcycle chain (if you have spots to chain to – I like OnGuard chains – I have 3 of them!) or a disk lock… and a cover. But most neighborhoods are safe enough that a bike can go a few nights without it… Especially a CB250 – it’s not exactly a hoodlum bike.

    As for parking down in the Financial district – dunno. Maybe someone else can chime in.

    Also – pop over to our new address:


  32. Hey Leo,

    First off, thanks for the quick response! You’re helping me ease off the nervousness I feel with all these unknowns that come with new-biker status :o)

    I have a cover and saddlebags that the seller threw in with the bike so I’ll certainly be making use of the cover at night. As for the chain, I have examined the surrounding streets in the past and don’t think there’s anything to chain the bike to (just some saplings), but I will have a closer look…what does one usually chain to? A disk lock sounds like a better bet. What do you do with these things when you’re ready to ride the bike – throw them in your saddlebags I suppose?

    Finally, could I ask you for two recommendations: 1) a motorcycle shop and 2) a store or stores where I can pick up gear? I’m in sore need of a good helmet in particular…seller threw one in but I feel a bit uneasy riding home with a used one.

    I will check out! Looking fwd to reading & participating there.

    Thanks much!

  33. All the motorcycle (and scooter) dealerships around the city sell helmets and gear, but…the prices are often three to four times what you’d pay online (for the more affordable helmets). I don’t mind paying more when I walk into a store – but maybe just 5-10% more would be reasonable… If you can live with the helmet you have for a few days – try an online shop like – I think they do free exchanges on helmets if it doesn’t fit right. Also motorcyclesuperstore, and kneedraggers… are two of the bigger sites with a pretty good selection.

    You can use a chain when you park near a street sign or a lamp post. But good chains are expensive (around $100 mark depending on length, and you’ll need 2 in order to chain up to a street lamp) – but they’re a pretty solid investment since you’ll probably sell the bike and get another one at some point, but you’ll keep the chains.

    A small disk lock is cheaper (starting at around $20), like this one and you can always use it in addition to a chain.

    For late night parking, I see people park on the sidewalk, parallel to the curb and chain up to a street sign…along with a cover. I’ve never had cops ticket my bike in a residential neighborhood parked like that *at night*, but in the daytime you run more of a risk of getting ticketed.

    Anyway – good luck and enjoy your new bike!

  34. Hi guys, thanks for all the great info. I’m about to buy a motorcycle in the next few weeks and I’m sure it will come in handy.

    I live in Manhattanville (just above Morningside Heights) in Manhattan around Broadway and 135th st area. I’m wondering if any of you have experience parking in this area, and if street parking is safe. I plan on getting a cover, a solid chain, and a couple locks, but the bike would be parked on the street all the time except some evenings that I ride, and some of the weekend time. Thoughts on this? Is the area relatively safe? Should I just bite the bullet and buy a monthly parking spot?

    BTW, I’m probably getting a cheap SV650, naked or stock fairings, used, nothing fancy, and probably going to use a couple cans of black crylon on it to make it look as inconspicuous as possible. This should help, right?

    Many thanks
    – Henry

    • Hey Henry,

      I used to live on 142 off of B’way, a long time ago. It’s been a while, but the blocks with brownstones were pretty safe. There were usually lots of eyes on the street (older people sitting by windows). Vandalism might be a problem every now and then (kids). An SV650 is a good choice. I don’t think you need to paint if it’s just to make it look less conspicuous. But if you invest in a couple of chains to lock up to a lamp post at nights – that would probably be safest. Just park carefully on hills – a lot of those streets are on an incline.

      Cheers, Leo

  35. About to bring my little WR250 into the city for the summer. I live around 100/broadway. My buddy had his husky sm610 lifited from 87/CPW, although he had no theft devices, dumb.

    The husky was a sweet bike and I am worried that although lower value a “different” looking, light bike like mine will attract unwanted attention. It currently has PA plates. I will take it out of the city every rideable day and chain it to a flower bed on the sidewalk at night, throw a disk lock on there as well I guess.

    Questions are about the area, the amsterdam side is a little rough…

    Smaller bikes and PA plate?

    • Any bike can get lifted from any part of the city, and there’s a subculture that likes off road bikes. But as for your neighborhood – it’s actually pretty good and pretty safe. You’ll be around Carmines and FLor de Mayo (good Peruvian Chinese food). If you can chain it to something, I think it will be fine. I don’t know if you can get away with parking it on the sidewalk in that neighborhood (chained to a street sign or something), but if you can, that would be the way to go. Parking in the day time is fine – because it’s a good neighborhood with a good amount of foot traffic. But it just takes some guy with a van in the middle of the night to run off with it… But if it were me, I’d get a chain + disk and not worry about it. Cheers!

  36. I’m going out of town for a couple of weeks this summer and I’m wondering – What do you usually do with your bike (assuming, as in my situation, that you don’t have a friend to move it)? Garage? What should I look to pay? I’m seeing some deals for $249 monthly and they accept motorcycles, but I don’t want to be naive about this…

  37. Very useful information here.

    I thought I’d share my experience here and throw some questions as well.
    I live in Sunnyside, Queens by the New Calvary Cemetery, so you can guess it is really quite around here. Apparently, the new Police Commissioner is going tough on motorcycles and it was about time mine paid the price too. My bike recently got towed due to an over-a-year expired inspection sticker. Less than a year you get a ticket, more than a year you get towed. Yes, I admit it. My mistake. However, the story gets worse than this.

    I soon as heard the tow truck from my room, I ran down to the street in an attempt to save my bike. At first, I didn’t know why I was getting towed. The agent explained about the expired inspection so then, I knew I had to chance to persuade the man. The bike was chained to an electric post with two kryptonite chains to account for the length. Then, the traffic agent took his cordless cut-off tool out of the truck, seeing already his intention to cut the chain. By that time I knew this guy didn’t care the fact that I was there. I told him that there was no need to cut the chain because I’m the owner of the damn bike and I got the keys. My many attempts failed and with no mercy, he cut the chain. In this whole process we argued until the point he called the cops on me. Maybe, he got nervous when I started recording his unjust act. Anyhow, he cut the chain, stored the chain in his truck and called the cops.

    His supervisor and a woman in uniform showed up in a police car. I explained him the situation and after he verified all the paper work, he made the agent return the chain that was useless then. The supervisor also explained that the electric post belongs to the city and that I should not attach anything there. Is this true? because there are lots of things attached to posts around NYC and now I’m not sure about it.

    To finish the story, I reported traffic agent shield #3288 Easton A. and send the video to a news page on Facebook subjected as “NYPD abuse” because this guy had also an NYPD uniform. Two weeks have passed and my bike is in the same spot with a new chain and a new cover (he also ripped the cover). However, I’m afraid the bike could get a ticket or get towed again because is chained to the same post and this guy has already taken 5 different vehicles in my street in one week.

    What do you guys think?

    Thanks in advance.

    • From what I understand, technically it is NOT illegal to chain a bike up to a city sidewalk structure as long as it does not impede the use of the structure… BUT…the NYPD has its own “policies” so that means they can cut your chain, and if you want to take them to court you’ll probably win, but it won’t be worth it. Unfortunately this is how the NYPD does lots of things (by its own policies regardless of what the law actually says).

      Anyway, glad your bike is okay. They seem to go on these chain-cutting sprees twice a year. When I used to park on the sidewalk in front of my apartment it was fine, the local uniformed police didn’t care and the ticket people didn’t care – until early spring and late summer…

      These days I park right outside a neighbor’s garage – made my life a bit easier.

      • Yep. That’s a good idea.
        Just this morning I had a talk with one of the neighbors who also owns a bike and parks on the street. We agreed to chain both bikes together. Hopefully, this will finally make me sleep in peace at nights.

        I agree with you regarding the NYPD. New York City has the toughest, most expensive, and most illogical policies and the NYPD just makes it harder and more stressful to live in here.

        Thanks for your response. From now on I will watch out for early spring and late summer sprees.

  38. Several motorcycles in my neighborhood park horizontal to the sidewalk and purposely block two parking spaces. It is obvious that they are holding a spot for someone. This is very annoying and inconsiderate as I drive around the block several times looking for a parking space for my car. Is this legal? I live in Queens.

    • Hi Joan, Yes it is annoying when people hold parking spaces for others, whether it’s by parking a car to take up two spots, or having a passenger stand there to hold the spot, or parking a bike in the middle of a spot big enough for a car. The way I see if, if the car isn’t parked there then it should be open for the next car that comes by… But sometimes people have extenuating circumstances and their own ideas of what is fair so who am I to judge…

      Bikes have to park perpendicular (at a right angle or so) to the curb with one wheel touching the curb – by law. So if the bike is parked like that, it’s legal. If the bike is parked facing the same direction as cars, parallel to the curb, then they can get a parking ticket for that.

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