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Snowed-In NY Residents Complain Over Parking Tickets

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Snowed-in Port Chester residents say their cars, like this one, are being ticketed for a lightly enforced ordinance requiring that spaces not be occupied for over 24 hours.

Snowed-in Port Chester residents say their cars, like this one, are being ticketed for a lightly enforced ordinance requiring that spaces not be occupied for over 24 hours.

Lou Young headshot Lou Young
A native New Yorker, Lou Young joined CBS 2 in June 1994. He has...
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PORT CHESTER, N.Y. (CBS 2) — As if the blizzard wasn’t enough, now some New Yorkers are being forced to pay for it. Police in one Westchester community have started writing tickets for vehicles still stuck from Sunday’s storm.

Is that a ticket on your car? The city of Port Chester says you’ve abandoned it, while maybe you think it’s just stuck.

“That’s ridiculous, because we had no place to put the snow,” resident Hector Hernandez said.

The summons is for occupying a street parking slot for more than one day. It’s a lightly enforced rule, residents say on the side roads, residents say, except when the snow makes it especially easy for the officer writing the ticket.

“They use the snow as a marker,” resident Frank Baratta said. “I am sure that car hasn’t been moved.”

Residents also say there seems to be no rhyme or reason for some getting the ticket while others don’t.

One resident really got a raw deal. Neighbors say he’s trapped out of town because of the storm, and when he gets back, he’ll have to dig out his car, pay the ticket, and then dig out another spot so he can move his car there. To many, it hardly seems fair.

“It’s crazy. I mean, it makes no sense because they can’t get the cars out,” South Salem resident Graham Wolfson said. “They’re looking for a revenue stream, you know?”

One city official suggested that the ticket blitz was designed to facilitate street cleaning, but the plows haven’t touched any of the mounds left where snowed-in cars used to be – instead, they’re continuing to plow down the middle of the street.

“Since they had rescinded alternate side in the street in the city, you would think in the outlying areas which were much worse, it would be the same thing,” resident Nick Pagani, who got one of the tickets himself, said.

Police in Port Chester wouldn’t comment on the issue, except to hand out a copy of the ordinance that says a car has to be moved in 24 hours, storm or not. No explanation was given as to why some cars were ticketed while others were not, and it was suggested that defendants can tell it to the judge.

Residents of nearby Greenwich, Connecticut also had to move their vehicles, but drivers say warnings were issued first.

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