Thursday, June 25, 2015

Upgraded muni meters coming to NYC this July

According to the New York Post, drivers will be able to prepay for their muni meter parking up to one hour prior to the parking regulation going into effect.  The meter will only have to be paid for the time the vehicle is parked during those regulation hours.

All city muni meters will be changed by July.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

DOT eliminates 1/3 permit spots in LIC municipal lot

City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer speaks out against the DOT's actions.
Credit: Juliet Papa/ 1010 WINS 

Residents in Long Island City are protesting a big change to a local municipal parking lot.  According to CBS News, the Department of Transportation converted 1/3 of the lot's permit parking spots to daily parking spots, as well as parking its own speed camera trucks on the ground floor of the lot. Residents say they now have to wait on line for hours for the chance to get one of the prized permit spots.  

City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer spoke out against using the parking lot for DOT vehicles. “Whoever’s idea this was, they need to be raked over the coals,” Van Vramer said. “This thing just stinks to high heaven. It’s dead wrong. It should be dead on arrival. It should never have been approved. The Department of Transportation has so many facilities all over the city of New York. They have land they can use under bridges where they park vehicles and store materials. They can and should do that there."

The DOT says it's looking into creating an online permit system.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Prospect Park ticket trap exposed: results in neighborhood getting four new parking spots

Courtesy of the Daily News

A Brooklyn College professor's mission to stop a tricky DOT ticket trap has resulted in four new year-round parking spots for Park Slope.  Two weeks ago, the Daily News ran a story exposing the trap discovered by Greg Smithsimon, which was located next to Prospect Park West and brought in $72,000 from 625 tickets issued in front of some unclear parking signs and street markings.  The formerly illegal spots were bordered by white painted lines, which suggested the spots were legal, and there was a street cleaning/ seasonal parking signs that confused drivers.

Smithsimon discovered the spots while using the city's OpenData website, where he found that 625 vehicles had been ticketed over six months, in contrast to the bus stop across the street, which only generated 47 tickets in twelve months.  He started a petition to ask the DOT for clear markings and signage for the spots, which the agency originally denied.  However, once the story was made public, the DOT made the decision to eliminate the seasonal parking restriction and clearly mark the spots.

Friday, May 29, 2015

New app lets drivers report cars parked in bike lanes & have them towed

There is a new app in Canada that will allow drivers to take a photo of cars illegally parked in the bike lane, and report them to their city officials so the cars can be towed.  According to, the aptly named Towit is currently capable of putting photos of the offending cars online to shame drivers into legal parking spots, but will soon be able to call cops for a tow.  

Do you want to see Towit come to New York City?  Do you think it would make drivers think twice about parking in the bike lanes or just add to the number to tickets handed out by traffic agents?

Friday, May 1, 2015

Vision Zero update: New traffic signals planned for NYC's Hell's Kitchen

According to Chelsea Now, the NYC DOT plans to install "six to ten split-phase traffic signals in Hell’s Kitchen as well as tweak traffic flow in the surrounding area in order to ease rush hour congestion. The signals are also known as Protected Only Phase Signal (PROPS), a term coined by Community Board 4 (CB4) Chair Christine Berthet." The signals "separate the allotted times for pedestrian crossing and vehicle turning, the combination of which leads to a large share of traffic collisions." 

Other Vision Zero initiatives being proposed include: 

  • Exempting city bus drivers from the new law that charges a driver with a misdemeanor if they hurt or kill a pedestrian with the right of way in a crosswalk
  • Requiring large trucks to install metal guards that would prevent pedestrians from falling underneath the vehicle in the event they were struck
  • Requiring taxi passengers to wear seat belts
The DOT plans to complete approximately 50 Vision Zero safety projects in 2015.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Parking ticket agents found to be illegally parking in NYC

According to PIX11, local business owners and truck drivers complained to PIX Investigates a few weeks ago about the lack of parking spaces available on 38th Street between 8th & 9th Avenue.  The cause of the parking problems?  New York City traffic enforcement agents (the same agents that issue parking tickets) were illegally parking their own private cars on this particular block.  

Agents were apparently displaying parking permits in their vehicles to avoid being ticketed.  However, business owners claimed those cars were creating problems by causing extra congestion and forcing their trucks to double park when making pick ups and deliveries.  

PIX11 contacted the NYPD about the situation, and they issued a statement stating that particular block of West 38th Street is not an authorized parking area for traffic agents to park personal vehicles and that the agents would be reminded as such.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Diplomats owe $16M + in unpaid NYC parking tickets

According to the NY Post, diplomats have amassed over $16 million in New York City parking tickets, despite having 529 legal parking spots.  In 2002, an agreement between the city and the US State Department "gave each UN mission two designated spots and one or two spots to each consulate."  Despite access to these parking spaces, diplomats continued to illegally park elsewhere, resulting in over 42,000 tickets.  

Although some of these tickets date back to 2002, and most of the outstanding debt was incurred prior to the NYC/ UN agreement, Penny Abeywardena, commissioner for the Mayor's Office of International Affairs, says,"We will continue to enforce the program in a way that works together with diplomatic community members to hold them to the same standards as any other New Yorkers."

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