Time to get these muni-meter issues fixed

May 2, 2013 Editorial Staff
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Councilmember David Greenfield is trying to find a simple solution for a common problem — the inability to feed parking meters ahead of time so motorists can leave their cars and get on with their business.

In mid-April, Greenfield proposed legislation for the city’s muni-meters, which at the moment are programmed only to accept payments once the parking regulations for that block have gone into effect, that would require the Department of Transportation (DOT) to reprogram the muni-meters to allow drivers to pay for parking beginning half an hour before meter rules go into effect.

While it was possible to throw a couple of extra quarters in the old meters in advance, muni-meters won’t accept money until metered parking begins.

“What happens when you have to go to a meeting or to the dentist office early?” Greenfield asked, adding that in many cases drivers have to come out from where they are to feed the meters to avoid getting a parking ticket.

“Muni Meters are great but flawed. The current restriction against paying in advance poses a major inconvenience for residents as they go about their daily business, and it is only fair to allow drivers to pay in advance,” he contended

Calling it “common-sense legislation,” Greenfield said that 14 councilmembers have already signed on to the legislation as co-sponsors, including Vincent Gentile, who calls this an important piece of legislation.

“I am proud to co-sponsor this bill and I commend my colleagues for helping to bring these issues forward,” Gentile said. “I have received numerous complaints from constituents in my district who feed their muni-meter only to learn that it is out of paper or out-of-order altogether after they’ve made their payment. “

A bill that will reform the faulty system will be introduced at the Council on May 8, requiring to also have the muni-meters shut off automatically instead of accepting money when the machine is malfunctioning or if it is out of paper to print the receipts.

Speaker Christine Quinn said that she will ensure “drivers get what they pay for when parking in NYC,” adding that the legislation will reduce the shared frustration and increase fairness among drivers.

She thanked Greenfield and the Transportation Committee Chairman Jimmy Vacca for bringing the issue to light.

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