DOT changes muni-meter rules in Borough Park
Drivers can pre-pay four hours in advance
Orthodox Jewish motorists parking on two of the main commercial streets in Borough Park can rest easier on Friday evenings, according to Councilmember David G. Greenfield, who said the Department of Transportation (DOT) has changed the muni-meter rules to allow drivers to pay the meters up to four hours in advance.
The muni-meters on 13th and 18th avenues, two of the neighborhood’s busiest commercial strips, now allow drivers to pre-pay at 3 p.m. at meters that are in effect until 7 p.m.
The new rule will greatly help Orthodox Jews on Fridays, when Shabbos is observed starting at sundown, according to Greenfield (D-Borough Park-Midwood-parts of Bensonhurst), who said sundown in the winter often begins as early as 4 p.m.
The new regulations on 13th and 18th avenues builds on a previous effect by Greenfield to have pre-paying available on 16th Avenue, another popular shopping area in Borough Park.
“My many thanks to the Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, the Department of Transportation and the de Blasio administration for taking into account the unique needs of Orthodox Jewish New Yorkers,” Greenfield said in a statement.
Other areas in Borough Park and Midwood will be studied over the course of the next year at the request of Greenfield, state Sen. Simcha Felder and Assemblymember Dov Hikind, all of whom represent the area.
The move by DOT is critical to drivers and their guests who cannot feed the meter once Shabbos begins on Fridays, Greenfield said. In the winter months, the early start of Shabbos prevents many residents from parking on the major avenues, according to the councilmember, who said the problem exacerbates Borough Park’s parking crisis.
The pre-pay solution has added hundreds of new parking spots on Friday in Borough Park, Greenfield said.
“Being able to pre-pay the meter is vital for those who observe Shabbos, and will really help alleviate the pre-Shabbos parking crunch in Borough Park,” Greenfield said.
Felder called the DOT’s accommodation “a win-win” for everyone. “People will be able to park and the city doesn’t have to worry about losing any revenue,” he said.
In July, another initiative by Greenfield — legislation to allow drivers in all areas of the city to pre-pay at meters up to one hour before the meter regulations begin — went into effect. The legislation also forces meters to shut off and not accept payment when the driver is not required to pay for parking, like in the evening. The meters also shut down when they run out of paper for receipts.
Greenfield also successfully pushed for a law to give drivers a five-minute grace period before being ticketed for muni-meter violations.
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