Seeing red: Local pol looks to designate illegal parking

February 10, 2015 Meaghan McGoldrick
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Bay Ridge – and the rest of the city – could be seeing red on sidewalks if Councilmember Vincent Gentile gets his way.

The local pol announced on Tuesday, February 10 that he would be introducing a bill to require “No Parking” zones near bus stops and fire hydrants to be painted red to designate illegal parking. This move, he said, would stop traffic cops from issuing what he called “gotcha” tickets and protect local residents from “unfair” summonses.

“It becomes a guessing game for the motorist that results in a ‘gotcha’ type of ticket,” Gentile said, noting the vague nature of many worn down yellow markings. “Naturally nobody wants to block a fire hydrant but without any markings, unless you’ve got a ruler handy, you have no choice but to estimate how far you are from the hydrant. You guess, and many times you still get a summons.”

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Drivers, he said, are typically fined $115 for parking within 15 feet on either side of a hydrant, or between a bus stop sign and the next parking sign on the block.

With red paint as a marker, he said, “there would be no question as to whether you’re in a prohibited zone or you’re not.”

While some local drivers doubt whether or not the legislation’s end will justify its means, others are looking to the bright side of the bill.

“[It’s] not avoiding ‘gotcha’ tickets, it’s a revenue raiser,” argued Bay Ridge resident and driver Eddie D’Tomasso. “It will make it easier for traffic cops to identify when to give someone a ticket.”

Additionally, D’Tomasso said, the paint job would likely constrain “already rare parking” and cost the city more than it’s worth.

Local resident Jessica Guadioso disagreed. “I actually think that that would be great,” she noted. “People can benefit from it because sometimes signs aren’t clear.

“Although I’m sure people will still park where they want to,” she went on, “it will help those who want to be sure of where they’re parking.”

The city’s Department of Transportation will reportedly look into the proposal.

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