A newspaper says that New York City's army of traffic agents was especially busy on the day after Thanksgiving last fiscal year: That was when they issued the most parking tickets.
The New York Times reports on Friday that the number of parking tickets issued citywide has risen 42 percent since Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg took office in 2002.
The Times cited interviews and an analysis of nearly 10 million parking tickets issued last year to show that the city has increased revenue while also moving traffic in its bid to wrangle traffic in the city.
The deputy inspector within the Police Department who manages the city's 2,529 traffic agents says his goal is to keep traffic moving and reduce the number of traffic accidents.
In response to the Times article, councilmember John C. Liu, chairperson of the City Council's Transportation Committee, said in a statement, "This report confirms the pervasive sentiment that ticket writing in New York City is getting out of hand. The city is losing credibility trying to justify that issuing all these parking summonses are intended only to keep traffic moving and people safe.”
“The bottom line is that parking ticket revenue has indeed multiplied in just the last few years and will soon approach $1 billion annually,” Liu added. “As the city grapples with multi-billion dollar deficits, there will be the temptation to issue ever-more parking ticket. Unfortunately, this will result in more abuses and unfair ticketing, especially since the ticket-writing machinery of New York has become a model of efficiency while maintaining its lack of transparency."
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Liu cautioned, "On Nov. 28, today, drivers beware, because in a city gone wild with parking tickets, more tickets will be issued today than on any other day this year. All too often the city regards the driving public as a cash cow."