Today, Department of Transportation officials unveiled new signage and parking meters in South Williamsburg to allow Orthodox Jewish motorists parking on several streets within South Williamsburg to pay parking meters four hours in advance on Friday evenings.
The new muni-meters, which will be located on Division Avenue from Roebling Street to Driggs Ave, Division Avenue from Lee Avenue to Roebling Street, Roebling Street from South 8th Street to South 9th Street, Roebling Street from South 9th Street to Division Avenue, Roebling Street from Division Street to South 8th Street and Roebling Street from Lee Avenue to Division Avenue, will now allow drivers to pre-pay at 3pm on Friday for meters that are in effect until 7pm.
“South Brooklyn residents can rest easy knowing that they no longer have to worry about getting a parking ticket, or being towed, simply for observing their religious beliefs.” said Council Member Levin (D-Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Downtown Brooklyn). “This change is vital for those who observe Shabbos and will greatly improve the quality of life for those members of the community. I want to specifically thank Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, the Department of Transportation and Mayor Bill de Blasio for fulfilling a commitment made to the community just two weeks ago during the District 33 Town Hall”
“As we embrace New York City’s diversity, DOT is proud to expand the Shabbos Parking program to South Williamsburg,” said DOT Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Keith Bray. “This change was both necessary and essential as it allows an enhanced quality of life without financial burdens, as Shabbos observers can now park their cars overnight without worrying about parking tickets and towing. We would like to thank Council Member Levin for his persistence and dedication on this important issue.”
“Thanks to DOT and Mayor de Blasio for realizing the importance of changing parking meter regulations to accommodate Shabbos observers. New York City prides itself on its diversity and this speaks to its commitment to ensuring equal application of the laws, especially in the context of religious observers. The community of Williamsburg will surely benefit from this change” said Assembly Member Joe Lentol (D-Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Fort Greene).
“We are grateful to Mayor de Blasio and the DOT for finally easing the parking shortage that Sabbath observers in Williamsburg faced, due to the meter regulations on Friday evenings,” said Rabbi David Niederman, President of the UJO of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn. “This is a mayor that understands and is sensitive to the unique needs of each and every community, and the mayor’s personal promise at a recent Town Hall with Council Member Levin to have the meters changed – an issue that we are raising for the longest time – and the quick execution of that promise, is another example of the mayor’s devotion and commitment to meet the needs of all New Yorkers. Thank you!”
“I applaud the City’s decision to ensure that parking meters accommodate the needs of New Yorkers who observe Shabbos,” said Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh. “In New York, we celebrate and respect diversity. I thank Council Member Levin, Assembly Member Lentol, DOT Commissioner Trottenberg, and all those who have worked to make this important community improvement happen.”
(YWN Desk – NYC)