The New York City Council overwhelmingly voted to override a veto by Mayor Bloomberg and repealed New York's Sunday parking meter law. The vote was 42 to 2 and as a result, starting on Nov. 13th roughly 32,100 curbside parking spaces and another 4,500 in municipal lots will be available to drivers on Sundays for free. The change will cost the City over $12 million annually - even more the first year because approximately 13,600 parking signs have to be changed. Mayor Bloomberg claims that the new rule would “hurt stores that won't be able to have their customers find parking" and even suggested that the law would lead to stores firing workers. In his weekly radio program he urged employees to call their Council representatives and say, “You cost me my job. " On the flip side, Fernando Ferrer, the Democratic nominee for mayor, says that Mr. Bloomberg had required New Yorkers to “pay to pray" - making reference to complaints from many church-goers and pastors that their church services were constantly interrupted by worried drivers rushing out to feed hungry meters. The City Council’s position is that the law requiring people to pay at meters on Sundays was instigated in 2002 as a response to fiscal crisis and now that the crisis is over, the law should be repealed.
But is this a good or bad thing for NYC?
As an expert on parking in NYC, author of the book The Feder Guide to Where to Park Your Car in Manhattan (and Where Not to Park It!) Erik Feder feels that the City Council was justified in changing the law. “The fiscal crisis is over and Bloomberg’s claims that store owners will have to lay off their workers is baseless. Before 2002, parking at meters on Sundays was free and the problems that the Mayor and DOT Commissioner Weinshall have focused on were not significant. It seems that the main issue is the revenue stream that will be lost. " Feder also points out that the reaction from most people on the street has been positive - including storeowners.
Erik Feder is “The Parking Expert"; he has done extensive research on the Manhattan parking scene, including driving on every single street in Manhattan and writing down the parking regulations on each and every sign. He is available 24/7 for interview, commentary or quotation. Consider contacting Erik when you need information on anything relating to parking in the New York City area.
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