New bill seeks to make parking fairer

Five months ago, Assemblymember William Colton sent a letter tothe Department of Transportation (DOT), demanding that it updateits website and publicly affirm that drivers can use the sameMuni-Meter receipt with any leftover minutes to park in multiplelocations. The DOT and 3-1-1 operators now confirm this allowance,he says, but ticket agents and administrative judges do not.

The problem is that even though now 3-1-1 says it’s legal, and[if you ask,] the DOT gives you a letter saying it’s okay, ticketagents are not following it, Colton said during a January 27 pressconference outside a Dunkin Donuts at 86th Street and KingsHighway. Even if you bring in the DOT letter, judges with theDepartment of Finance (DOF) will rule against you. Then if you tellthe DOT, they will say that each case is individual and each judgecan interpret it individually.

That is why Colton, who represents the 47th Assembly District ofBensonhurst and Gravesend, has introduced a bill in the Assemblythat would codify the parking receipt provisions into New YorkCity’s administrative code. Only written law would put an end tothe disconnect between agencies, he said.

Bill A.9065 says, point blank, that a motorist is authorized touse unexpired time on a street other than where they purchased it.That takes away the interpretation of the judge. It shows that ifa judge [ignores it], he’s acting contrary to his oath of office,said Colton. It also provides needed due process and allows thedriver to feel that if you follow the rules, you areprotected.

As a bonus, the legislation may even help local businesses,allowing people to run errands and patronize shops without havingto worry so much about running out of time on the meter.

Franklin Bronfman, a senior citizen who has lived in Bensonhursthis entire life, agreed, noting that because of the stupid rulesinvolved in parking, we’ve got to do something and make it easierto park and do business. I don’t drive, but I know people who driveand heard lot of complaints about it. You’ve got to make itconvenient for people. If people are uncomfortable and worriedabout a ticket, they won’t spend.

The new legislation is also supported by Assemblymember PeterAbbate, and according to Colton, a City Council version is beingdrafted by Councilmember Vincent Gentile.

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