The signs marking where a former driveway for the Smithsonian’s Pelham Bay facility may be gone, but a parking ticket issued on the inactive driveway in February still lingers, taunting the last victim that fell prey to the city’s quest for revenue.
Local resident Rosemarie Iannuzzi wrote to Councilman Jimmy Vacca, asking his help in getting the “no parking” signs removed since parkers were receiving unnecessary tickets.
While Vacca’s office got the Department of Traffic to take down the sign, Iannuzzi’s ticket remains.
She received the unwarranted violation when she parked her Toyota in an inactive driveway in front of the Waterbury Estates development at 3403 Bruckner Boulevard, between Middletown Road and Jarvis Avenue, and according to DOT, must pay.
“When I parked my car on February 18, I thought those signs had been removed long ago,” Iannuzzi said. “I was shocked when I received a ticket.”
The signs came down shortly after Iannuzzi began to protest the traffic agent’s action that resulted in a $60 fine.
The Department of Finance adjudicated the ticket, reducing the fine from $60 to $40 if Iannuzzi paid by March 28. When Iannuzzi refused to pay, the DOF issued a Decision and Order, finding Iannuzzi guilty and reinstating the $60 fine.
Iannuzzi asked the DOF to rescind the ticket after the “no parking” signs came down on March 6.
“Apparently, I was right in stating that these ‘no standing’ signs were there illegally and should have been removed long ago,” she stated in a March 7 letter to the DOF. “Yesterday, as I parked my car, the signs have mysteriously disappeared along with the pole that held them.”
While the Smithsonian’s driveway, which was large enough to accommodate a tractor trailer, is no longer there, another unpaved driveway used by workers at the Waterbury Estates site is nearby. However, no one has factored this driveway into the decision by the DOT to allow the ticket to stand.
DOT spokesman Craig Chin said Iannuzzi was parked illegally, and was unfortunately the last person to fall victim to the signs that were no longer needed.
He referred the matter of the ticket to the DOF for further questions.
Iannuzzi asked the DOF for a complete dismissal of the ticket. She has now enlisted the help of a representative from Senator Jeff Klein’s office and other agencies to see if anything can be done to fight the decision.
“The DOF fixed the ticket at $60, saying that my evidence wasn’t sufficient,” Iannuzzi exclaimed. “I can’t believe this has happened. That is a work area, not a driveway.”
The DOF did not comment on this matter as of press time.