City Council Weighs Shift in Alt-Side Parking Laws

Offers three proposals to lesson the burden for drivers, but questions remain as to whether any meaningful changes would pass for oft-debated rules

Wednesday, Nov 10, 2010  |  Updated 11:13 AM EDT
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City Council Weighs Shift in Alt-Side Parking Laws

The City Council waged war on alternate-side parking laws, offering multiple proposals at a hearing yesterday designed to curtail the number of unnecessary tickets that have long plagued drivers and minimize the amount of times they have to move their cars.

Legislators introduced three bills, including one that would allow drivers to only move their cars twice on streets that usually require them to do so four times, and another that requires street cleaning once instead of twice per week on streets to which the Mayor's Office of Operations issues a cleanliness rating of 90 percent or higher.

The administration claims the proposals would overcomplicate logistics and likely make the streets dirtier, which could hamper tourism, according to The New York Post.

But proponents of the bills argue that alternate-side parking restrictions were changed from three hours to 90 minutes on each side back in 2002 -- and streets actually got cleaner. In fact, they're currently the cleanest they've ever been, the Post says.

A third proposal would allow drivers to wait in their cars and park immediately in a spot once the street sweeper passes. The problem with that suggestion, however, is NYPD ticketing agents and street sweepers have no current way to communicate. Since the agents can't tell when street sweepers have passed, council members fear a multitude of drivers would be ticketed unfairly. One councilmember proposed a vehicle-tracking system for street sweepers that would notify agents and drivers when the trucks have passed as a solution.

While council members emphasize a desire to "give people a break who have been deluged with tickets for 10 years," as City Council Transportation Committee Chairman James Vacca said on Tuesday, those familiar with the negotiations suggest the likelihood of the oft debated alternate-side parking laws actually changing in some meaningful manner remains minimal.  

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