City Council Squares Off With Bloomberg Over Parking Grace Period

Mayor Shoots Down Plan, But Speaker Quinn Promises Override

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Who wouldn’t want their parking ticket torn up on the spot?

The New York City Council wants to give drivers a 10-minute grace period at muni-meters, but the ticket-happy Bloomberg administration has said not a chance.

Some people might think that Derrick Caldwell went above and beyond to obey the law and pay for parking in lower Manhattan.

“This muni-meter right here was inoperable. I then traveled across the street to the next block to that muni-meter and then walked back,” Caldwell told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

But city traffic agents weren’t impressed. They slapped Caldwell with a $65 ticket faster than you can say “Michael Bloomberg.”

“I didn’t want a ticket. That’s why I did it. I was doing everything to avoid getting a ticket because they’re very pricey,” Caldwell said.

Riding to the rescue is the City Council, which has introduced a bill to force traffic agents to cancel tickets on the spot if the driver can show a muni-meter receipt time stamped within 10 minutes of the ticket.

“The legislation is really about common sense, fairness. You can’t mental telepathy your money into the muni-meter,” Council Speaker Christine Quinn said.

“There are too many tickets where motorists feel: ‘oh boy by a minute or so I gotcha’ or ‘I just turned my back. I’m in the process of paying. I got a ticket.’ That’s an ‘I gotcha’ ticket. We want that stopped,” said Councilman James Vacca, D-Bronx.

The mayor, who has seen ticket revenue increase from $300 million to $800 million on his watch, sent the city’s top traffic cop, Ins. Michael Pilecki, to oppose the bill.

“We are unable to support its enactment,” Pilecki said.

That led to harsh questions about tickets as “cash cow” revenue and quotas. Inspector Pilecki denied that there are quotas but admitted agents are rated based on their productivity.

Councilman Vacca asked, “Isn’t the number of tickets they give part of the assessment?” Pilecki responded, “Yes, it would be part of the assessment.”

“Any time you’re going to have a situation where you’re doing an evaluative process of the number of tickets that are issued we call that in layman’s terms … that’s a quota,” said Councilman David Greenfield, D-Brooklyn.

The council speaker said the mayor’s objection to the bill doesn’t matter as she intends to pass the bill and override if the mayor vetoes.

1010 WINS’ John Montone reports: Christine Quinn plans to fight unfair parking tickets

There are 63,000 parking spaces in the city. The city hopes to have all of them regulated by muni-meters within 18 months.

Another bill would require the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications to publish a map online indicating street closures and temporary parking regulation changes – due to filming, street fairs construction or suspension of alternate side parking.

On Wednesday, Brooklyn Councilman Greenfield will introduce a bill to ban sanitation workers from slapping neon green shame stickers on cars that violate alternate side parking rules.

Do you think the Bloomberg Administration has gone too far this time? Do you think the City Council has your back? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from John Montone
  • Bobby the Cop

    Suit up Auburn Dale, you afraid?

    • Rio The Agent

      It IS a shame when the city council has nothing better to do than go after the parking enforcement district, by making our lives harder, it is obivous they do not give a damn about our safety.If you own a vehicle in NYC you should be responsible enough to read and obey all the parking rules.If this law gets passed, In the The Borough of The bronx where you have people who do not read or speak english well, are not going to be able to interprete this law very well.Or people who do not really understand or fully pay attention to the media, Are going to view this new measure as a big parking break.The Scams that are going to break out with the Muni rec are going to be outrageous. Thanks Council woman Quinn, Vacca and all the other idots in the council for making our jobs harder.You can be sure I will not be voting for either of you again.

      • rk

        Easy for you to say since you didn’t get slap in your face with a $65 ticket fine while trying to pay at the muni meter! It’s one thing if one disobey the law, but it’s another when you robbed left and right.

  • Auburn Dale

    Here’s a completely new and unprecedented concept: JUST PARK LEGALLY for once in your lives.

  • Truth

    Our mayor is F- – – — D UP!

  • karma5230

    Why do cars feel such an entitlement to shared space in the city. If you park you pay. If you overstay tough. Pay the fine and stop whining. You should have watched the time better.

    • karma5230

      That should be car owners.

      • Brains

        We’re not talking here about over-staying. We’re talking about having enough time to pay at the munimeter and get back to your car to put the receipt in the window. Right now if the munimeter is at the other end of the block and it takes you 5 minutes to walk there and back, if a traffic ¢op comes by in those 5 minutes you get a ticket. You might be able to fight it but it’s a major hassle.

        Now how exactly is that fair? There is no option to pay on the spot, you have to walk to that meter. If you’re doing all that is humanly possible to follow the law to the letter and you can still get a ticket then something is wrong.

  • Anthony

    The city of New York is in desperate need of parking ticket revenue in order to pay for salaries, health insurance, pensions, worker’s compensation, and a host of other perks and benefits. They care about parking tickets more than anything else because it involves money. A motorist should have time to travel to the muni-meter before he/she is ticketed, but the city couldn’t care less about that. A car in Manhattan is more aggravation than anything I can think of.

    • Michael H.

      Um, the city seems to agree with you, as the City Council is trying to enact what you want. It’s the mayor that disagrees.

  • Sam

    Only in America, being a Cop or a Firefigher is a free pass to lots of perks, like parking free at the meter, parking at the fire hydrant without being ticketed, traveling free in MTA, LIRR trains and buses, and if they could, they would get away without paying toll too. Only in America. You goto Canada or UK, and you would see how all cops and firefighters are treated just like Joe, Moe and Schmoe. We put every cop and firefighter on a pedestal. We disregards teachers, social workers, nurses, and all other public service workers, but oh no, Cops and Firefighters, please let them play by their own rules.

    • Brendan

      I’m a firefighter and I’m NOT sure where you’re getting you’re information from, Sam. I pay when I park at the meter. I would NEVER park at a fire hydrant because if there was ever a fire in that area, the FDNY could NOT access it and it could lead to someone getting hurt &/or killed. As a matter of fact, a FF did that a few years back and left a note saying he was a FF. He was brought up on Departmental Charges for abusing his power. As far as traveling free on the MTA/LIRR, that’s only in regards to PD. The MTA instituted that in response to the Colin Ferguson shooting that took place on a LIRR train in the early ’90s. They felt it was worth letting cops ride for free in exchange for the added security. I always pay when i ride either LIRR or MetroNorth. I’ve got the ticket stubs to prove it. I also just added $ to my metrocard on Mon., 4/4 (got receipts for that, too). I hope this clears things up. Take care, Sam & stay safe!

  • Bobby the Cop

    Hey Mike and Auburn Dale, why don’t you two tools suit up as a cop for one day. You would not last five minutes.

  • Janet

    Bloomberg is a modern day version of an American dictator. He rules over us and we just take it and never exercise our right to protest. Stop Bloomberg and pass the ten minute grace period. The power has gone to his head.

  • Mario C

    Mayor Bloomberg. Worst NYC mayor of this generation, WHY is he still the mayor anyway?

  • bill

    Yes there should be a 10 minute grace period. Bloomberg is using parking tickets to generate revenue. It is unfair and wrong.

  • John Galt

    Those idiots on council wouldn’t know how to find their ass in a phone booth. Speaking of which, are there any phone booths left in NYC? The muni-meters have been around for at least ten years that I can recall and now all of a sudden it’s a huge problem? What happens when the meter maids start taking a couple of bucks on the side and voiding a ticket because the driver was (wink wink) walking back to his car?

    • bill

      Yes it is a huge problem John Galt and has been since Bloomberg took office which is at least 10 years. Thankfully the Council has seen fit to do something about this.

      • Truth

        Giving someone a ten minute grace period will create more problems. All the people who run in and out now can park for free. If they see a metermaid, all they have to do is feed the munimeter. This will create less parking spaces.

      • Sam

        Thank you Truth, for proving that there are still intelligent people left in NYC. After reading some of these comments, I feel sorry for NYC.

      • tw


        those people who park close enough to see a ticket officer come are likely to feed the meter regardless all day long.

  • Mike

    If it is dangerouis to park at a hydrant, and in a cross walk, and double park, why are NY’s finest and bravest allowed to park wherever they want?

    • Auburn Dale

      Because they are Legally Designated Heroes and thus are EXEMPT FROM ALL LAWS.

      • Tommy

        City employees should set a proper example and take public transportation to work instead of clogging up the streets and sidewalks with their personal vehicles which are not needed for work. Its a disgrace.

  • Mike

    How about getting rid of so many ‘NO STANDING ANYTIME’ signs that are ridiculous.

  • Mr. Putnam

    The city is such a cesspool! Why would anyone want to drive in the morass of mumbo-jumbo rules and regulations that have become law only to make the city rich and common man a victim?

  • Ophelia Pyles

    Why not ban parking entirely, then ban cars, then ban gas, then ban oil, then ban fatty foods, then ban soda and ice cream, and then ban the mayor from constantly blowing out his ass.

  • johnny

    How about you ban out-of-state drivers from parking on city streets … you can solve so many problems then focusing on these stupid bills …

    • bill

      It’s not a stupid bill johnny. Do you work for Bloomberg or are you a millionare who doesn’t want to be taxed?

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