Tag Archives: parking

No ticket while getting your ticket


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

New legislation is aiming to please drivers by “parking” many of their muni-meter tickets.

The City Council recently passed a bill that will spare commuters the stress of receiving a parking ticket while retrieving their muni-meter receipt. Prior to the bill, if a driver presented a valid receipt to a traffic enforcement agent, there was no way for the agent to revoke the ticket.

The legislation, which was introduced by Councilmember James Gennaro, requires a ticket to be cancelled if a valid receipt is shown no later than five minutes after the issuance of the violation. The canceled ticket would read, “Valid muni-meter receipt shown, ticket canceled,” and would include the number printed on the muni-meter receipt — sparing drivers the inconvenience of appealing the ticket by appearing in court.

“New York City drivers feel enough anxiety every day already without having to worry about getting a ticket while they’re walking to the muni-meter,” Gennaro said. “By ensuring that premature violations are canceled if a receipt is shown within five minutes of the ticket being written, my bill will bring a little peace of mind to residents who are trying to do the right thing and pay for their parking.”

The bill was co-sponsored by Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr., who also supported approved legislation declaring the presentation of a valid muni-meter receipt as a viable defense for the failure to display the voucher on a dashboard.

“It’s absurd to think that they could place a muni-meter a half block from where you’ve parked, force you to walk to obtain a receipt, and then ticket you as you’re returning to your car — but it happens,” Vallone said. “Once again, we had to write legislation to combat something that should never have been occurring in the first place.”

Jack Friedman, executive director of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, praised the bill for the positive effects it will have on small businesses.

“Allowing a ticket to be canceled upon the showing of a valid receipt no later than five minutes after the issuance of the ticket is both fair and reasonable,” Friedman said in a letter to Gennaro. “Before the introduction of this law, even people attempting to comply with the law were penalized. Small business owners have enough to contend with in today’s economy. Scaring consumers from metered spots certainly didn’t help.”

Drivers shared feelings of frustration that the legislation was not in place from the start, while also expressing relief for no longer being at risk of receiving an unjustified ticket.

“It has been a horror because I have received a couple tickets while I was walking to the meter,” said Antonietta Mandione, a Bayside resident. “I tried to fight them in court and I never won. I always had to pay the ticket, and it wasn’t fair. If it is raining or snowing someone could slip, and I have to drag my kids with me and run back to my car. The parking agents are fast in giving out tickets. This new law will save us a lot of time in running to the meter. It is going to be a big improvement because we won’t have to kill ourselves to get back to the car. The city [didn’t have this law from the beginning] because it wants to collect more money from us.”

New parking regulations to help businesses


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Commuters utilizing the muni-meter lots on Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside are having their parking plans curbed by the Department of Transportation (DOT).

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer joined DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and other local elected officials on September 29 to announce that 60 muni-meter parking spaces on Queens Boulevard and 40th Street underneath the No. 7 train will be converted to a four-hour maximum time limit next month.

In addition, the weekday “No Standing 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.” regulation on the north curb of westbound Queens Boulevard from 48th Street to 32nd Place will be removed, and two-hour muni-meter regulations will be installed. Street cleaning will also be in effect daily between 7:30 and 8 a.m.

Community leaders hope that the adjusted parking regulations, which begin on October 31, will make the area more accessible to motorists, particularly those looking to visit the neighborhood’s businesses. Among the intended benefits is the prevention of commuters leaving their cars in the lots prior to using the train to travel to their jobs in Manhattan.
“We live here, we shop here and we want to support our local neighborhood,” said Van Bramer. “We also want to make sure that there is sufficient turnover to allow more people to access the services on Queens Boulevard. If we limit so much parking to commuters who are coming very early, getting off the 7 train after work, getting in their cars and heading back east, then that is not benefitting our neighborhood.”

Before making the alterations, the DOT evaluated the traffic conditions on Queens Boulevard during the morning peak hours, and determined that the changes would create a better balance between short and long-term parking availability in the area.

“Sunnyside is more than a stop along the No. 7 train, it’s a destination for shoppers that local retailers depend on,” said Sadik-Khan. “By expanding short-term parking, we’re balancing the needs of commuters while providing access that will help boost the local economy.”
Stores in the area are excited about the potential surge in business that could come from having their shops more accessible to customers.

“The people who park here for 12 hours are the people who go to the city,” said Giovanni Brione, manager of Oasis Pizzeria, which is located across from a parking lot. “They shop and eat in the city, come back here and then go back to the island. If we have more space available for parking, then more people will come here to shop. Many times people don’t want to come around here because there is no parking. This change will help the businesses.”
Despite claims that the adjustments were requested and are heralded by Sunnyside residents, some believe the changes are less about improving parking flow and more about increasing cash flow to the city.

“I can’t believe the city is doing this,” said Adrian Ionas, a resident of Sunnyside. “This is not going to be an improvement for the people parking here. The city is just looking to make more money.”

New parking regulations to help businesses


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

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Commuters utilizing the muni-meter lots on Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside are having their parking plans curbed by the Department of Transportation (DOT).

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer joined DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and other local elected officials on September 29 to announce that 60 muni-meter parking spaces on Queens Boulevard and 40th Street underneath the No. 7 train will be converted to a four-hour maximum time limit next month.

In addition, the weekday “No Standing 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.” regulation on the north curb of westbound Queens Boulevard from 48th Street to 32nd Place will be removed, and two-hour muni-meter regulations will be installed. Street cleaning will also be in effect daily between 7:30 and 8 a.m.

Community leaders hope that the adjusted parking regulations, which begin on October 31, will make the area more accessible to motorists, particularly those looking to visit the neighborhood’s businesses. Among the intended benefits is the prevention of commuters leaving their cars in the lots prior to using the train to travel to their jobs in Manhattan.

“We live here, we shop here and we want to support our local neighborhood,” said Van Bramer. “We also want to make sure that there is sufficient turnover to allow more people to access the services on Queens Boulevard. If we limit so much parking to commuters who are coming very early, getting off the 7 train after work, getting in their cars and heading back east, then that is not benefitting our neighborhood.”

Before making the alterations, the DOT evaluated the traffic conditions on Queens Boulevard during the morning peak hours, and determined that the changes would create a better balance between short and long-term parking availability in the area.

“Sunnyside is more than a stop along the No. 7 train, it’s a destination for shoppers that local retailers depend on,” said Sadik-Khan. “By expanding short-term parking, we’re balancing the needs of commuters while providing access that will help boost the local economy.”

Stores in the area are excited about the potential surge in business that could come from having their shops more accessible to customers.

“The people who park here for 12 hours are the people who go to the city,” said Giovanni Brione, manager of Oasis Pizzeria, which is located across from a parking lot. “They shop and eat in the city, come back here and then go back to the island. If we have more space available for parking, then more people will come here to shop. Many times people don’t want to come around here because there is no parking. This change will help the businesses.”

Despite claims that the adjustments were requested and are heralded by Sunnyside residents, some believe the changes are less about improving parking flow and more about increasing cash flow to the city.

“I can’t believe the city is doing this,” said Adrian Ionas, a resident of Sunnyside. “This is not going to be an improvement for the people parking here. The city is just looking to make more money.”

Incensed by parking meter increase


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Queens drivers are reaching deeper into their pockets — more often — to park around the borough

“I have to constantly feed the meter, when I can barely feed myself in this economy,” said Theresa Bulgosi as she shopped along Vernon Boulevard.

City motorists now get only 15 minutes for a quarter — $1 for an hour. The rates were raised as part of the city’s budget plan. The timing adjustments began in Queens this summer as new muni-meters were installed.

“The city increased the prices and lowered the time. I think that’s an outrage. I know they’re desperate for money but just cut off the welfare. A quarter was for 20 minutes, now it’s for 15 minutes. It makes a difference when you’re constantly parking,” said Grace Lorini, in front of Banana Republic on Austin Street in Forest Hills.

Many areas of Queens were already outfitted with muni-meters, but the city plans to replace all single space meters with muni-meters throughout the borough by June of next year.

The installation of muni-meters began in Forest Hills — parts of 71st Drive, 73rd Place, 80th and Selfridge Streets — and Middle Village — on Metropolitan Avenue from 69th Street to 74th Avenue – on Saturday, October 1.

Store owner Judy Zhu from Valuclean Cleaners on Bell Boulevard pays about four dollars a day in the muni-meters, which only lasts four hours, but that doesn’t stop her from getting tickets.

“In the past two weeks, I got three tickets. I went inside the cleaners to get change for the car and when I returned I already got a ticket for $35,” said Zhu.

Janet Akilov agreed and said, “It’s too expensive now and it makes me rush while shopping or eating,” while waiting for her muni-meter receipt to print in front of Kabul Kabob Restaurant on Main Street, Flushing.

Though drivers are incensed by increased rates, some see the advantages muni-meters provide – such as providing more parking spaces and accepting credit/debit cards.

“It’s nice not to have to carry around a pocketful of quarters around anymore just for meters,” said Thom Lee, a LaGuardia Community College student.

For those still partial to the single space meters, a request for proposal was issued for a vendor to sell the meters as memorabilia.