Borough Park

Hikind drives early bird muni-meter idea to DOT

October 20, 2014 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Assemblymember Dov Hikind says the city will begin retro-fitting muni-meters to accept payment before they become operational for the day. The change means that drivers will be able to pay for parking earlier without having to wait for the meters to turn on for the day.
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The early bird catches the worm, as the old saying goes. But drivers in New York City who get to their destination early often find that they can’t pay the muni-meter for their parking space because the meter doesn’t go into operation until 9 a.m.

Assembly member Dov Hikind said that this minor urban annoyance is about to come to an end.

On Sunday, Hikind (D-Borough Park-Midwood) announced that the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) has agreed to his request to reprogram the city’s muni-meters to accept pre-payments up to an hour before they begin working for the day.

The meters are scheduled to be reprogrammed over a period of time starting early this winter, according to Hikind.

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The adjustment will come as welcome news to drivers who are forced to wait at the muni-meter for the machine to become active, Hikind said.

“The current situation has been very frustrating for New Yorkers. Because the muni-meters are not currently set up to accept payments until they become active, people who find a spot and park their cars at, say, 8:30 or 8:45 a.m., are forced to wait for the meter to accept payment, or to return and make their payment at the time the meter begins working. But now you will be able to park and pre-pay,” Hikind said.

Hikind, who said he first raised the issue with the DOT earlier this year, praised Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and her staff, as well as for Mayor Bill de Blasio, for going along with his idea.

“This solution benefits residents and commuters without taking a dime away from New York City. It’s a win-win for everyone involved and I was delighted to be part of it,” Hikind said.

A DOT spokesperson told the Brooklyn Eagle not to expect any changes any time soon.

The retrofitting of the muni-meters is a process that requires significant time and infrastructure commitment, according to the spokesperson, who said the rollout isn’t expected to begin until 2015.

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