As I have nothing better to do at the moment, I am returning to my project of annotating the 2008 Alternate Side Parking Calendar. The version provided by AAA (see below) is suspect, I’m sorry to say, partly because the phone number provided for the New York City Department of Transportation, with its tantalizing promise of “new, simplified Alternate Side Parking Regulations,” is still out of service. Of course, in a sense this does simplify things: you don’t even have to bother to call.
A quick comparison of the AAA calendar with the city’s—a joint project of the Department of Transportation, the Department of Sanitation, and the Police Department (see link)—reveals a discrepancy: the AAA says there are 43 days when alternate side is suspended, and the city says that alternate side is suspended for 34 legal and religious holidays. Laboriously, as if balancing my checkbook, I added up both lists and got 40 (both times). It turns out that the city counts two- and three-day holidays, such as Shavuot and Succoth, as just one, while the AAA counts each separate day of multiday feasts but fails to take into account the overlaps among the world’s three great religions: in 2008, Good Friday coincides with Purim (March 21), Rosh Hashanah overlaps with Idul-Fitr (October 1), and the Immaculate Conception kicks off Idul-Adha (December 8). Can’t wait.
A reader points out that because 2008 is a leap year it would be fitting if alternate side was suspended on February 29th, a day that barely exists anyway, but the authorities have yet to fall in with this plan. On the plus side, alternate-side parking is suspended for my birthday (February 7th), which happens to fall on Chinese New Year. Western Easter and Orthodox Easter are more than a month apart, so Christ gets to suffer and die and suffer and die, but we alternate-side parkers will be twice redeemed. Unfortunately, Gerald Ford (January 2nd) and Our Lady of Lourdes (February 11th) have once again been overlooked. But this year a feast associated with Padre Pio, the patron saint of stress relief and the post-Christmas blues—Don’t Worry Be Happy Day—should fall on January 21st, the same day as Martin Luther King Day, and is therefore already on the Alternate Side Parking Calendar. Can’t wait.