Sideways Smart Cars Cause Controversy on Henry Street

McBrooklyn photo

McBrooklyn photo

McBrooklyn reports on a Smart Car parking dust up Monday in front of the Brooklyn Heights Cinema.  The lil “critters” were parked in front of the theater as part of a promotion around the Brooklyn Film Festival happening there this week.  Mickey B picks it up from there:

The idea was to show how the critters were so little you could park them sideways. But the Smart Car people ran into a little friction from local cops who saw . . .  cars parked sideways.

But officers! They don’t stick out any further than your average SUV! Who cares what way they’re pointed?

A discussion was held and points were made. Finally the police said they’d look the other way this time, but their commanding officers would take a dim view of the sideways parking.

The cars remained where they were till 11:30 p.m. Then off they drove, over to Williamsburg for the rest of the weekend, for the Kent Ave. film festival screenings.

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  • WillowtownCop

    Its a $115 ticket: “59: Standing or parking at an angle to the curb, except where allowed by rule or sign. Where angle parking is not authorized by a sign, a Commercial Vehicle may stand or park at an angle only for loading or unloading and if it leaves enough space for traffic flow.”

    I suspect it was written long before smart cars. I also suspect if yours was the car parked in between the two you would be irritated. Not to mention if the doors of the smart car get bumped by someone trying to park in between them its going to be a lot more expensive to fix than if they hit the bumper. People who park legally shouldn’t have to be bothered to leave enough room for the smart cars to open their doors anyway- if people are considerate and do leave room, the cars end up taking up as much space as they would if they were parked properly.

  • ML

    I saw this in Rome, Italy a few months ago. The streets are really narrow and parking is tough there. So it’s a city of Smart Cars. People park them sideways like that to get into tight spots. It’s pretty common there.

  • my2cents

    These cars were actually designed to be parked that way. That is one of the central ideas of the concept. The idea is that they can park in those random gaps between cars that aren’t long enough to parallel park in. The fact that the car’s length is about the equivalent of most cars’ width is not a coincidence. It is by design. It’s a shame that the cars are basically incompatible with our parking laws/practices in the states.

  • Alanna

    as technology evolves its time our “legal” parking codes did the same.

  • Matthew Parker

    I get a chuckle out of the name Smart Car. As someone who was once rear-ended at a red light by a driver who fell asleep at the wheel and slammed into my rented Bonneville full size car at over 45mph, if I was in a “Smart Car” I wouldn’t be here today.

    I can’t believe people put their lives at risk in something smaller than a golf cart on the highway. I’ve even seen people driving with kids. IMHO, child endangerment. Not so Smart.

  • my2cents

    Matthew, the Smart is pretty safe actually. OBviously you don’t stand much of a chance if an SUV t-bones you, but in collisions with other cars, the Smart will keep you alive. It was engineered by Mercedes. Early on they were prone to roll-over in extreme avoidance tests, but they re-did the suspension geometry to stabilize it.