A new bill co-sponsored by Councilman Jimmy Vacca designed to save Bronx and other drivers from some unfair ticketing has unanimously passed the City Council.
The Council voted overwhelmingly in favor of the new proposed law that would have Muni-Meters – the ubiquitous, box-like receipt dispensing meters that recently replaced individual parking meters – turn off when paid parking is not required or when machines run out of paper needed to print receipts.
The Council voted unanimously on Wednesday, June 12 to adopt the new legislation, co-sponsored by Vacca along with the primary sponsor, Councilman David Greenfield of Brooklyn. The measure now awaits Mayor Bloomberg’s signature or veto.
The goal is to avoid unnecessary tickets and increase fairness in parking, said Vacca, who serves as chairman of the council’s transportation committee.
“We can and should do more to ensure that parking in this city is fair,” said Vacca. “Parking is difficult enough as it is. New Yorkers put their hard-earned money in these meters to be able to park, not to be taken for a ride.”
Vacca noted that “Councilmember Greenfield’s common sense bill highlights the frustration drivers can do without.”
The bill would also have parking meters turn back on, one hour before metered parking begins again, for example, at 6 a.m. if metered parking starts at 7 a.m.
Pelham Bay Taxpayers Association president Anita Valenti said that if the bill works as intended, it would add more fairness to a parking system she feels doesn’t always work as well as it could.
“They are trying to be fair.” she said, “So good!”
Waterbury LaSalle Civic Association board member Andrew Chirico, pointed out that Muni-Meters on Crosby Avenue between Westchester and Roberts avenues are often not working. He said that street parking needs to be made “idiot proof.”
Both the driving public and parking agents need to be made clearly aware of when a Muni-Meter is not working, he said.
“They should add something to the machines, like a flashing red light, when it is broken or it is out of paper,” said Chirico.
He also suggested that the Muni-Meters actually show in their computerized windows when paid parking is not in effect or when they are out of paper for receipts.
Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 742-3393