VTL § 1202(a) Except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic, or when in compliance with law or the directions of a police officer or official traffic-control device, no person shall:
1. Stop, stand or park a vehicle:
a. On the roadway side of any vehicle stopped, standing or parked at the edge or curb of a street…
VTL § 147Stop or stopping
When prohibited means any halting even momentarily of a vehicle, whether occupied or not, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the directions of a police officer or traffic-control sign or signal.
Furthermore, New York State’s driving manual recommends parallel parking by stopping in the traffic lane and backing into the open parking spot, implying that such a method of parking is not prohibited by the VTL. Here’s that section of the DMV driving manual:
HOW TO PARK
- Select a space that is large enough for your vehicle on your side of the road. Check your mirrors before stopping, and signal to alert other drivers. Pull up alongside the vehicle in front of the space, leaving about two feet between the other vehicle and yours.
- Look behind you over both shoulders to make sure you will not interfere with pedestrians or oncoming traffic. Back up slowly, and begin to turn your steering wheel all the way toward the near curb. Look through the rear window, not the rearview mirrors, as you back up. Check to the side and front occasionally to make sure you are clearing the vehicle ahead…
As you can see by the DMV directions and diagrams, it is definitely advocating the “momentarily [halting] of a vehicle” in the traffic lane in order to parallel park, which I see as further indication that it isn’t prohibitted.
I have to say that I don’t think parallel parking would qualify in the “when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic ” statutory exception because although stopping is necessary for the purposes of the act of parallel parking itself, it does not seem necessary to “avoid conflict with other traffic.”
I cannot find any specific provision in the VTL or in the cases that specifically excludes the “stopping” necessary in the process of parallel parking from the prohibition, although it is clearly ridiculous to suggest that parallel parking is functionally illegal.
Can anyone out there help me out with any statutory clincher that shows where my mistake is? Why is parallel parking legal?