Terry Byrne is an Uber driver who had just dropped off a passenger at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Cincinnati, when he says he pulled over to safely check his phone for his next Uber assignment.
However, the only spot available to pull into was a "No Stopping - No Parking" truck zone on 4th Street, where he sat, engine running, checking his phone.
All of a sudden, he says, "a parking meter official knocked on the window, and I go, 'I'll move.' And he said, 'No, here's the ticket.' And I said, 'What? A ticket?'"
That's right: rather than asking Byrne to move, the officer wrote up a $65 parking citation, even though Byrne explained he was just taking a few moments to check his next Uber assignment.
"I was simply sitting in my vehicle in a place that was marked truck parking," he explained.
What does the law say?
No matter what you feel about this as a policy, it is a great reminder that if you are coming downtown, you need to look at those signs carefully.
"No parking" means "no parking" and "no stopping" means no stopping, unless it is an emergency.
For clarification, we went to Cincinnati City Hall, where city spokesman Casey Weldon referred us to the municipal code, where it states drivers can be cited for stopping in "no stopping" areas. (See below)
And Spot Hero, the popular national parking app, warns people on its site that "even if you are sitting in your car, you can still get a ticket."
Terry Byrne, however, feels a warning should have been enough. "Just tell me, 'Hey move the vehicle,'" he said. "Be a decent human!"
So he is going to City Hall to fight his ticket, and argue that if the city wants to be welcoming to visitors, parking officers may want to show a little leeway when dealing with people sitting in their cars for a few minutes. The city's code, however, lists that as a violation.
As always, don't waste your money.
CINCINNATI MUNICIPAL CODE:
Section 508-6: "Where 'No Standing' or 'No Stopping' signs are erected, no person shall stop, stand or park any vehicle in violation thereof, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the directions of a police officer or traffic-control device."
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