Alternate side parking hearing gets sticky

November 7, 2011 Denise Romano
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Things got pretty sticky – literally — at the November 1 CityCouncil Transportation Committee hearing.

City officials, transportation advocates and representatives ofthe Department of Sanitation (DOS) met to discuss a bill introducedby Councilmember David Greenfield which would make it illegal forDOS to place stickers on windows of vehicles that broke therules.

Currently, if motorists park on the wrong side of the streetwhen alternate side parking is in effect, their vehicles can getslapped with not only a ticket but a kind of scarlet letter — abrightly colored sticker that reads, This vehicle violates NewYork City Traffic Rules. As a result, this street could not beproperly cleaned. A cleaner New York is up to you.

But, said Greenfield, Slapping an impossible-to-remove stickeron a car window is not just punitive, but is hazardous as well.It’s difficult to drive safely when your window is obstructed.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

John Nucatola, director of DOS’s Bureau of Cleaning andCollection, claimed that the annoying neon stickers serve as aneffective deterrent.

Street cleanliness is at an all-time high, with an averagestreet cleanliness rating of 94.5 for Fiscal Year 2011, and arating of 94.8 for Fiscal Year 2012 to date, he said. Thiscleanliness can be attributed to the department’s ability toenforce the alternate side parking regulations in a manner thatalerts the public that the failure to move their cars in accordancewith parking regulations is detrimental to their neighborhood’squality of life.

Nonetheless, Greenfield said that the fine for violating parkingrules, which ranges between $65 and $45 depending on the location,is sufficient. It’s really cruel and unusual, Greenfield stated.Even with our worst criminals, we don’t ask them to wear stickerson their heads saying: ‘Caught! Courtesy of the NYPD.’ Why arepeople who accidentally park their cars on the wrong side of thestreet worse than convicted criminals?

Jeffrey Frediani, an American Automobile Associationrepresentative, said, Receiving a parking ticket in New Yorkalready comes with a hefty fine, so we do not see any need for theoverkill of placing a difficult-to-remove sticker on a vehicle tonotify and punish for a second time, an individual violating aparking restriction. In fact, we recently received an email from amember 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 tomove his car for street cleaning.

Nucatola stated at the conclusion of the hearing that DOS wouldrevisit the sticker issue.

In fact, the department is currently exploring the possibilityof changing the adhesive used, or even the type of sticker, such ascompostable, in an effort to make these stickers easier to remove,he noted.

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