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Bogus bike lane ticket fine in Morris Park is refunded

Bronx Times

The city has heard Phyllis Cannon’s roar.

The hapless driver who got a ticket for parking her car in a non-existent bike lane finally got a refund.

That after Mayor Bloomberg, who championed all those real bike lanes, publicly dissed the Morris Park shop owner.

The proprietor of Superior Paint & Hardware at 1059 Morris Park Avenue, Cannon received notice in the mail that she had been slapped with a $115 ticket for parking her 1998 Honda in the nonexistent bike lane in front of 1810 Hone Avenue before work the morning of Saturday, January 28.

She had parked the car in what she thought was a perfectly legal spot less than a block away from the shop, but somehow received this ticket on a block where no bike lane exists. After receiving the notice, and filing two appeals online - the first denied because of lack of photographic evidence, the second because the city stated no new evidence can be presented on a second appeal - she reached out to Councilman Jimmy Vacca. The New York Post produced an exclusive article about her plight on July 5, after she had paid the ticket to avoid increasing the $115 fine.

“Councilman Vacca stayed on it, the police department has acknowledged that this was an incorrect ticket and the city will issue a refund,” Cannon said. “This is thanks to the New York Post, CBS 2, Channel 11, and Councilman Jimmy Vacca, who was on it first.”

The ticket has produced a large amount of aggravation, Cannon said at her store.

“When you get a ticket for something that you deserve, it is upsetting, but you know you are wrong,” Cannon said. “When you get a ticket for something you didn’t do, it is an insult, an annoyance, and harassment!”

She said that she hopes that some good comes out of this by traffic agents being more cautious and considerate when motorists are ticketed, Cannon said.

After the story broke, Mayor Bloomberg was asked about the ticket by reporters, and was quoted in the Post as saying “fixing a ticket is not something that a mayor should do, and I will not do that - I have no idea whether she was right or wrong.”

Councilman Vacca said that neither he nor Cannon ever asked anyone to fix a ticket, and he called it the case of a “bike lane that never was.” Vacca said that the mayor could not answer the question because it was before the agencies conducted the inquiry.

“In this case, she does not deserve the fine,” said Vacca. “There is no bike lane on the street, there are no plans to put a bike lane on the street, and this was blatantly wrong.

“The NYPD traffic division should be sending a letter to the Department of Finance and a refund should be issued, Vacca said.

Vacca also praised the efforts of the Post. “The New York Post article did bring it to light, and the article was helpful in resolving the case,” said Vacca.

Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at procchio@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3393

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