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.

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