Motorists snagged by bogus ‘No Parking’ sign

The sign, which appeared to be fastened to the pole with sheetrock screws, was removed by the Department of Transportation recently. The sign forbid standing in what were previously three spots between a bus stop in front of Catherine Scott Promenade and 591 City Island Avenue. Many received $115 parking tickets. Photo by Patrick Rocchio

Motorists have been parking their cars for years in three spots between the Catherine Scott Promenade and Seashore Restaurant. Now, many have been slapped with tickets even though the Department of Transportation deemed a “No Standing” sign at the location bogus.

According to City Island residents who have received tickets for parking in spots they always thought to be legal, the sign was removed on Monday, July 20.

After seeing pictures of the “No Standing” sign which was attached to the utility pole with sheetrock screws, a DOT spokesman said that the sign would come down.

“This sign is illegally posted and it will be removed,” said DOT spokesman Montgomery Dean on July 17.

Those who have been utilizing the spots, many patrons of the Seashore Restaurant at 591 City Island Avenue, were shocked to receive $115 parking summonses.

“A bunch of retired and active police officers and I have been meeting in the Seashore Restaurant for years and using those spots, which can hold roughly three cars,” said City Island resident and retired NYPD lieutenant Bob DiMartini. “We were parking there because they were legal parking spaces.”

DiMartini said all of that changed when three people he knew received summonses for parking in the spaces.

“It is a real Department of Transportation sign,” DiMartini said, “but it does not belong on the pole.”

DiMartini said that previously, there had been no parking signs that applied only on weekends during the summer at the location, but they were removed about a year-and-a-half ago.

“It is the first restaurant when you come onto the island,” DeMartini stated. “They have their parking attendants put out cones to direct traffic, where the three spots are located.”

DeMartini said that his three friends who received tickets –a first-grade NYPD detective, a bartender at Fella’s on City Island Avenue, and a real estate broker – will all be contesting the tickets in court.

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