Pol wants to drive-a-way tix

Pol wants to drive-a-way tix
Photo courtesy of Rich Velez

This elected officials thinks parking in front of your own driveway is a right, not a privilege.

Now Councilman Jimmy Vacca has just introduced a bill that would allow homeowners or people leasing space to park in front of their own driveways as long as their car is registered to that address.

The proposed law would also let motorists in such cases not to have abide by any Muni-Meter regulations, which he called especially important for residents and business owners along busy commercial corridors.

“With the advent of Muni-Meters, many times it is difficult to find out where their jurisdiction starts and stops,” said Vacca. “I found people were coming to me and saying that they live on streets like Williamsbridge Road or East Tremont Avenue, and that they could not even unload their shopping in their driveways because they were being told they needed a Muni-Meter ticket.”

Vacca, former chair of the Council transportation committee knew that in such situations the driveway parking spaces were not subject to Muni-Meter rules, and he decided to try to engrave it in law.

“I wanted to make it clear that you have this right, and we have taken that right for granted for years,” said Vacca. “But without the individual stand-alone meters, there were tickets given to people who parked in their own driveways. I want to make sure that legislatively we have an answer to this.”

Vacca said that the bill would also help people who live in residential neighborhoods who sometimes also get ticketed for parking in their own driveways.

One person such a bill would have helped was Rich Velez, 40, who owned Mona Mias Pizzeria at 1588 Williambridge Road, from November 2011 to October 2012.

During that time, Velez said he racked up $3,500 worth of tickets for parking in front of his own driveway, which was necessary because of his pizza delivery business.

“When I bought the business was just when they put in the Muni-Meters,” he said. “Before, the previous owner would park in front of the driveway and he wouldn’t get tickets.”

Using the parking space in front of the pizzeria was vital, he said.

“Being a pizza delivery business, there was no other parking there as it is, and it was very critical that we had access to that parking space,” he said. “We had to go into and out of that space all the time to make deliveries.”

He added. “The ticketing was detrimental to my business.”

He said that if Vacca’s bill were to become law, it would have helped him out for sure, adding that “Councilman Vacca even said he had the same experience in front of his own office.”

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 742–3393. E-mail him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.