Borough Park

Greenfield pushes free Black Friday parking

January 26, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Parking rules would change in a big way if Councilmember David Greenfield gets his way. Eagle file photo by Paula Katinas
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Motorists won’t have to feed the muni-meter the day after Thanksgiving if a bill sponsored by Councilmember David G. Greenfield is passed by the City Council and signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Greenfield (D-Borough Park-Midwood-Bensonhurst), who introduced the bill on Jan. 19, said the proposed legislation has a simple purpose: to make life easier for motorists.

Under current city law, drivers must still obey meter regulations, even on days when alternate side of the street parking regulations are suspended.

The day after Thanksgiving, also known as Black Friday, is often the most-ticketed day of the year, according to Greenfield, who said shoppers find themselves waiting in long lines in stores, unable to return to move their cars or feed the meter.

Greenfield said his bill would allow shoppers to support local businesses without fear of coming back to a ticket on their windshield.

Greenfield also introduced two other parking-related bills on Jan. 19. One bill would allow motorists to park in front of non-functional fire hydrants. The other bill would prohibit the city from towing any vehicle unless the vehicle has first been immobilized with a wheel lock for at least 72 hours.

“I am committed to making life easier for all of New York’s drivers,” Greenfield said in a statement. “These bills are each designed to solve a real problem in a practical way. I will continue to promote common-sense reforms such as these that will help to ease some of the congestion and headaches that have historically come with driving a car in New York.”

The Black Friday parking bill sounded intriguing to Brooklyn business leaders.

“I guess it will help businesses,” said Renee Giordano, executive director of the Sunset Park Business Improvement District (BID), a group representing hundreds of property owners and merchants on Fifth Avenue from 38th Street to 64th Street.

If customers no longer have to worry about feeding parking meters, they can shop longer, she said. “It’s very frustrating for shoppers. You come down to shop and then you get a parking ticket,” she said, adding that many drivers are not aware that Black Friday is not a holiday.

The bill would be particularly helpful in the Sunset Park BID area, which has one-hour meters, according to Giordano.

Meanwhile, Greenfield is also busy trying to win widespread support for his other parking-related bills.

The fire hydrant bill is necessary, Greenfield said, because many of New York City fire hydrants are not functional but have not been removed. Under current law, parking in front of a fire hydrant is prohibited regardless of whether the hydrant is operable.

Greenfield, who said his bill would open up valuable parking spaces all over the city, added that non-functioning fire hydrants would be painted green to distinguish them.

The towing restriction legislation would make it easier for drivers to regain access to their cars without having to search nearby streets or travel to impound lots.

The bill would not apply to vehicles illegally parked at bus stops, fire hydrants, crosswalks or in tow away zones, cars that are blocking legal driveways or when the immediate towing of the vehicle is required as a matter of public safety.

Last year, legislation Greenfield sponsored to allow drivers to pay at muni-meters up to one hour before the meter regulations go into effect won City Council approval.

The 2015 law also mandates that the meters shut off and not accept payment at times when a driver is not required to pay for parking like in the evening. The meters also shut down when the devices run out of paper to print receipts.

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