New York City – Today the New York City Council’s Transportation Committee held a hearing on a bill proposed by Councilman David G. Greenfield (D-Brooklyn) that would change the city’s approach to punishing drivers for alternate-side parking infractions. Intro No. 546 would end the practice of placing hard-to-remove neon stickers on drivers’ vehicles when a driver parks on the wrong side on alternate-side parking days.
“It’s really cruel and unusual,” explained Councilman Greenfield. In response to the Sanitation Department’s assertion that it was important for the public to know who was blocking the street on alternate-side days, Greenfield exclaimed, “Even with our worst criminals, we don’t ask them to wear stickers on their heads saying: ‘Caught! Courtesy of the NYPD.’ Why are people who accidentally park their cars on the wrong side of the street worse than convicted criminals?”
At the hearing today, several members of the City Council’s Transportation Committee, panned the city’s policy of using stickers to punish drivers. “It’s a double whammy,” said Transportation Committee Chairman James Vacca. “People have gotten the message, and the message is ‘get going or get fined.’ I don’t agree with the premise that the sticker is needed…”
Councilwoman Letitia James, Chairwoman of the Sanitation and Solid Waste Management Committee, concurred. “I don’t believe that government should be in the business of publicly humiliating its citizens,” she said. “The ticket is punishment enough.”
Councilman Greenfield’s bill has gained support from many quarters, including from the American Automobile Association who testified at the hearing in favor of Greenfield’s bill. “Receiving a parking ticket in New York already comes with a hefty fine, so we do not see any need for the overkill of placing a difficult to remove sticker on a vehicle to notify and punish for a second time, an individual violating a parking restriction,” explained Jeffrey Frediani, a representative from AAA New York. “In fact, we recently received an email from a member who claimed he had to spend three hours and pay a mechanic $25 to have one of these stickers removed after he was too ill to move his car for street cleaning.”
After hearing from Council Members and advocates, John Nucatola, Director of the Sanitation Department’s Bureau of Cleaning and Collection acknowledged that the Council Members had “legitimate points” and promised to “revisit the sticker issue.”
(YWN Desk – NYC)