At Brooklyn town hall, de Blasio agrees to expand Shabbos parking program
Drivers can pay early on Fridays to avoid summonses
Mayor Bill de Blasio has decided to expand a popular program that began in Borough Park and allows drivers in that predominantly Jewish neighborhood to pre-pay parking meters ahead of time on Friday afternoons to avoid getting hit with summonses during Shabbos.
Shabbos, the Jewish Sabbath, begins Fridays at sundown.
The mayor announced the expansion at a town hall at Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School in Borough Park on Tuesday.
The pre-pay program saves motorists a lot of headaches, particularly in the winter months when sundown comes earlier, according to Councilmember David Greenfield (D-Borough Park-Midwood-Bensonhurst), who first came up with the idea to pre-program muni meters. Under the program, drivers can pay up to four hours ahead of time.
The mayor told a packed house at the town hall that once the program is expanded, all 1,300 muni meters located in the neighborhoods of Borough Park and Flatbush will be programmed to accommodate drivers seeking early payment.
The town hall, which was hosted by Greenfield, drew more than 700 local residents, according to Greenfield’s office.
The mayor came to the town hall with several of his commissioners and agency heads.
“It was an incredible scene. The mayor brought City Hall to Brooklyn. I give Mayor de Blasio enormous credit for coming here. He was engaged, focused and committed to getting results to everyone,” Greenfield said in a statement.
The questions from residents ranged from the speed limit on Ocean Parkway to complaints about sanitation collections and reduced hours at public pools.
Transportation was a dominant topic throughout the night. Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and Brooklyn Commissioner Keith Bray were on hand to answer numerous questions on parking, speed limits and bus patterns.
One resident asked de Blasio why the speed limit on Ocean Parkway had been reduced from 30 mph to 25, a question that drew enthusiastic applause, according to people in attendance.
The mayor explained why the speed limit itself couldn’t be changed. Greenfield pointed out that many of the community’s concerns could be addressed without raising the speed limit.
“The problem is that there are speed cameras. You don’t even realize that you’re going 36 mph because everyone is going 36 hours per hour. That’s what’s frustrating,” Greenfield stated.
The Democratic mayor, who is running for re-election in November, was full of praise for Greenfield at the town hall. “This is an incredibly hardworking guy. He is smart, and he is purposeful and he is substantive. When he puts his mind to something, there is a very good chance it is going to happen,” de Blasio stated.
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