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Motorists to NYPD: Let us get away with double-parking

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Pro-car activists in Williamsburg and Greenpoint are asking cops for the legal greenlight to double-park.

North Brooklyn motorists claim police have long looked the other way when drivers double-park on street cleaning days in neighborhoods such as Park Slope, Boerum Hill, and Bushwick — but often ticket motorists in Williamsburg and Greenpoint for the same vehicular transgression.

The risk of fines forces car-owners to circle the neighborhoods looking for a spot during alternate-side parking hours, but finding a space can be so tedious that some drivers accept the fee and leave their rides in the path of street sweepers, sullying the community in the process, claims Rabbi David Niederman.

The answer, according to Niederman, is legalized double-parking.

“They have to give the opportunity for law-abiding citizens to help have a clean community and not be penalized,” said Niederman, a member of Community Board 1 — which assembled a “task force” to discuss legalizing double-parking last week. “I feel very strongly that we should be treated the same as the other communities.”

At first blush, authorities seem willing to turn a blind eye to the automotive violation, which can yield a $115 ticket.

Captain Jim Ryan, new commander of the 94th Precinct, and Department of Sanitation community affairs officer Iggy Terranova told CB1 members they may be able to negotiate “discretion­ary enforcement.”

“We’re going to work with transportation and sanitation and see if we can come up with a policy that works,” said Ryan.

It’s not as easy as issuing a bulletin to officers: authorities would need to determine on which streets double-parking would be permissible, how to inform drivers if no signs spell out the policy, and whether the amnesty would extend beyond alternate-side parking hours, Ryan said.

The rule change would require a pledge by motorists to not block in other vehicles, according to CB1 member and legal double-parking supporter Simon Weiser.

“In most areas, you see people standing by their vehicle,” said Weiser. “They’re not blocking anybody.”

But ignoring double-parking would set a double standard, according to some North Brooklynites.

“Double parking is illegal in the city of New York, so why are we even discussing it?” said CB1 member Tom Burrows.

Board member Ryan Kuonen said the added convenience of double-parking isn’t worth the added risk to cyclists.

“Double-parking is very dangerous for bikers,” said Kuonen. “If you want to have easy parking all the time, pay for a parking spot.”

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.

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Reader Feedback

Vincent from Williamsburg says:
I gave up my car years ago and I haven't been happier since. In New York you should only own a car if you have enough money to pay for monthly parking. A car is a luxury that poor and middle class people can't afford to maintain yet they do everything they can to maintain it. Sit down and figure how much you use your car. Figure out how much you spend on that car each year. Not fuel but insurance, maintenance, repairs, and tickets. Figure the hours you spend needlessly, sitting in your car, circling the block. Just to underestimate, multiply those hours by the minimum wage. Add all that up and you will see that you are shortchanging yourself. Most people can do with renting a car every time time they need one. Try it, it worked for me.
March 19, 2013, 8:42 am

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