NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Even “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” would be taken aback by this story.
A woman received a ticket for parking in a bike lane that doesn’t exist – and New York City is saying “too bad, pay the fine.”
From any angle there is no bike lane in front of 1810 Hone Ave., in the Bronx, but that didn’t stop the city’s aggressive traffic agents from slapping hardware store owner Phyllis Cannon with a $115 ticket for parking in the spot that absolutely, incontrovertibly, never ever, ever was a bike lane. Cannon showed CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer the spot on Thursday.
“It makes me angry,” Cannon said.
Cannon pleaded not guilty, but the plea was denied because she didn’t include documentation. She appealed, this time including documentation, but she was turned down again.
“I feel that on the other end there’s somebody there that’s just stamping everything ‘denied.’ I don’t even think they’re reading it. I don’t think they’re looking at it. They’re just denying everything.
When asked why, Cannon said, “Because the city wants our money.”
Council Transportation Committee Chairman James Vacca said he is furious.
“You have a traffic agent who has run amok. This is not justice. This is a woman who was taken for a ride, a $115 ride, a damn expensive one,” Vacca said.
The city told CBS 2 Cannon lost the case because she didn’t submit the documentation of the phantom bike lane when she first pleaded not guilty. The city rule is that no new evidence is accepted on appeal.
Really, that’s what the city said.
“That’s completely ridiculous. It’s just a pass-the-buck excuse. That’s all it is, pass the buck,” Cannon said.
The city’s billionaire mayor was singularly unmoved by Cannon’s plight.
“What do you want me to do?” Michael Bloomberg said. “Fixing a ticket is not something the mayor should do and I will not do that. I have no idea whether she was right or wrong. I don’t know whether the process worked.”
Councilman Vacca said he is so angry he’s going to investigate how many people in the entire city have gotten tickets for bike lanes that just don’t exist.
There is a bike lane in the neighborhood, on Yates Avenue, five blocks from where the ticket was issued.
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