NEW YORK (CBS 2/WCBS 880/1010 WINS) – It’s a way of life in New York City that can be both time consuming and frustrating.
Who hasn’t sat in their car for 90 minutes trying to hold on to the perfect spot?
CBS 2’s John Metaxas has more on the proposal to change street cleaning restrictions so there’s less waiting for drivers.
A visitor from another city might not recognize the scene, but it’s an urban dance all too familiar to New Yorkers.
A sanitation truck sweeps by, and folks who have been waiting double parked across the street scramble to get the few parking spots available on the other side.
Welcome to alternate side of the street parking.
“The sweeper has to come. Then you can move it. After you move your car at 11, you wait until 12:30; otherwise you get a ticket,” Chelsea resident Mina Norton told Metaxas.
It’s New York’s unique form of torture — four days a week, one and a half hours each day. They sit double parked with exhausts belching and traffic snarling — each block on its own unique schedule.
Some people will leave their cars empty, double parked illegally, rather than risking a ticket on the other side of the street or waiting for hours.
But now a city lawmaker wants to give drivers a break.
A bill by Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez would allow them to move their cars once the sweeper has passed, and then leave it, rather than wait until the sign says it’s okay.
He said it’s an issue of quality of life for New Yorkers.
“Working class people, people that have children they’d like to be with, people that want to go back to work,” said Rodriguez, a Democrat representing upper Manhattan, Washington Heights, Inwood and Marble Hill.
And it’s good for air quality, too.
“Very good idea. Excellent. Fair to the people of New York,” said Sarah Savage of the Upper West Side.
“Who wouldn’t [like that]?” added Manhattan resident Felix Nicpon.
But Norton said she was still skeptical.
“It would be great, but I don’t think, you know, who’s there to prove when the sweeper came and when it didn’t?” Norton said.
And the Department of Sanitation said ticket agents would have no way to know if the street had been swept.
New law or not, some said they’d still wait in their cars, because they wouldn’t trust the city to not ticket them.
Councilman Rodriguez countered that the sanitation and traffic departments need to better coordinate their operations to identify the streets that have been swept.
The City Council will hold hearings next week.