NYC Councilman suggests crazy-reasonable reform of parking ticket rules
posted at 9:06 pm on March 31, 2014 by Mary Katharine Ham
It’s refreshing to see this impulse emerge every once in a while, even if it doesn’t stand a chance. It didn’t last time Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Manhattan) brought it up in 2010, but there may be hope this time around.
A city councilman is launching a new push for a revolutionary change to the dreaded alternate-side-of-the-street parking regulations.
If successful, it would give millions of car owners something special: the gift of time.
The regulations ban parking for a period of time — usually 90 minutes — to allow street sweepers to pass through.
Under the proposal by Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Manhattan), drivers could legally take parking spots once the street sweeper passed by — ending the need for drivers to wait inside their cars until the no-parking time period lapses.
Rodriguez, a former cab driver, also wants to make sure drivers sitting in their cars with the engine running do not get ticketed for idling.
Rodriguez has noticed that such rules are more focused on gouging citizens than serving them, and disproportionately gouge those who can ill afford it. That’s something his fellow Democrats are supposed to care about, but one guess why they don’t.
If enacted, the proposal would likely reduce city parking ticket revenues, which last year amounted to $70 million just from about 1.2 million alternate-side summonses, according to the Department of Finance.
Fox NY notes how much of the city’s time and energy is taken up dealing with parking issues. One imagines if they took some of this off their plates, they might actually have time to serve citizens better.
Alternate side of the street parking is so important to New York City drivers that when you call 311 it’s the first information delivered. After a mechanical broom or motorized sweeper cleans a street, drivers usually park on the cleaned street but have to sit in their cars until the street cleaning time period ends. That or get a $65 ticket.
Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, the head of the City Council Transportation Committee, wants to reintroduce a bill allowing drivers to leave their car as soon as a street is cleaned. He calls it common and financial sense for drivers.
I cannot imagine they can possibly break the addiction to revenue in New York City, but I’d love to be wrong.