A Stand Against Tickets
November 17th, 2009

As City Council members rallied to the cause of New York City drivers yesterday, they attacked the administration for playing “gotcha” with traffic violations, using parking tickets as kind of cash cow, and serving as judge and jury for New Yorkers accused of parking illegally. Did the vigorous criticism, even from Bloomberg administration allies such as Speaker Christine Quinn and Councilmember Simcha Felder, indicate a new independence, a willingness to fight for what’s right — or old-fashioned pandering?

Streetblog holds it’s the latter. Even worse, writes Ben Fried, the council’s decision to grant a five-minute grace period on certain parking violations indicates a “failure to comprehend the consequences of giving away curb space.”

By essentially giving drivers an extra five minutes on the parking meter, the bill offers ” a subsidy for the minority of New Yorkers who get around by private car.”

In addition, Fried continues, ” With less turnover of metered spaces, drivers will double park more and cruise around longer as they search for open spots clogging up the streets.”

A bill — approved unanimously — to expand parking privileges for member of the clergy would have similar effects, according to Fried.

The DMIBlog also expressed disapproval at where the often meek council chose to take a stand. Calling the grace period vote possibly “one of the most ridiculous moves of the year,” John Petro wrote, “Instead of pushing for a major progressive victory, they’re voting for a law that says you don’t have to follow the law — for five minutes.”

Mayor Michael Boomberg has said he would veto the grace-period bill. It passed council 47 to 2, with Daniel Garodnick and Tony Avella casting the no votes. Garodonick said he opposed the bill because, you cannot legislate the issue of good judgment, common sense and grace.”

By on November 17, 2009, 1:24 pm
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