Welcome to Buffalo: Advice for New Americans – Parking

Photo by Flickr User Steven Depolo

No Stopping vs. No Standing vs. No Parking

Urban traffic congestion is a world wide problem. Practical and effective Parking regulations are used to address these traffic congestion problems.

These regulations are enforced for both convenience and safety reasons and violation of these regulations may result in a ticket and or towing of the vehicle. Traffic regulations including parking regulations are prescribed by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles and, and enforced by police officers and Buffalo parking enforcement officers. Many people confuse signs that read “no parking” with ones that read “No stopping’ or “no standing”. So, whether your new to the road or just need a little refresher, here are the basic differences:


What people understand as “parking” is legally divided into three categories: parking, standing and stopping: A NO PARKING sign means you can make a temporary stop to load or discharge merchandise or passengers. Many people pull over at No Parking signs temporarily in order to load or unload passengers or groceries. The New York Department of Transportation allows you to stop to load or unload packages or merchandise at curbside, as well as stop to QUICKLY drop off or pick up passengers at this sign. But keep it moving, because this sign doesn’t permit the driver to leave the vehicle unattended for even a brief few minutes.

A NO STANDING sign means you can make a temporary stop to load or discharge passengers ONLY not merchandise. New York law allows you to QUICKLY drop off or pick up
passengers at this sign, but it doesn’t allow you to wait for passengers to arrive or to load or unload merchandise at the curb. The important thing to remember about No Standing signs is that they are “people only” signs, and you could receive a ticket if you don’t adhere to this rule.

A NO STOPPING sign. Of the three signs discussed so far, No Stopping signs are the strictest. No Stopping signs mean that you cannot stop for any reason – to drop off or pick up passengers, to wait for people to arrive, or to load or unload merchandise. Any violation of this sign can be punishable by law. The only
time that you should ever stop at one of these signs is if it is a true emergency or if you are directed to do so by a police officer. However, you should make sure to obey all traffic signals around No Stopping signs as you normally would.

PARKING RESERVED FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES is a legal requirement. These special parking spaces for motorists with disabilities ensure safe and equal access to goods and services, access which is taken for granted by many persons. You can park in reserved spaces only if you have a permit or vehicle plates for persons with disabilities and only when the person who received the permit or vehicle plates is in the vehicle.

TEMPORARY SIGNS will be placed along the route of a special event, such as a festival, a parade or a race. These signs are enforced for the dates and times listed on the sign, and you may receive a fine and/or be towed if you violate it.

TOW AWAY ZONE. If you see this sign, you are in an area where parking is not allowed and a parked car will
be towed.

Besides parking, standing and stopping rules, there are statewide rules not always indicated by signs: You cannot park, stop or stand: Within 15 feet (5 m) of a fire hydrant, unless a licensed driver remains in the vehicle to move it in an emergency.

  • On the road side of a parked vehicle (“double parking”).
  • On a sidewalk or in a crosswalk.
  • In an intersection, unless permitted by signs or parking meters.
  • On railroad tracks.
  • Next to or opposite road work, construction or other obstructions if your
    vehicle blocks traffic.
  • Within 30 feet (10 m) of a pedestrian safety area, unless another distance
    is marked.
  • On a bridge or in a tunnel.
  • Parking or standing is not allowed:
  • In front of a driveway.
  • Within 20 feet (6 m) of a crosswalk at an intersection.
  • Within 30 feet (10 m) of a traffic light, STOP sign or YIELD sign.
  • Within 20 feet (6 m) of a fire station driveway, or within 75 feet (23 m)
    on the opposite side of the road.
  • Along a curb that has been cut, lowered or made for access to the sidewalk.
  • You cannot park your vehicle within 50 feet (15 m) of a railroad crossing.


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