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Woman Hit With Multiple Tickets After City Moves Car For Bike Rack

Report: Car Was Moved To Illegal Spot; All Tickets Have Been Tossed
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A Citi Bike station in Manhattan (file/credit: Juliet Papa/1010 WINS)

A Citi Bike station in Manhattan (file/credit: Juliet Papa/1010 WINS)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An NYU student has finally won a battle with the city, over $475 in wrongful parking fines she racked up when her car was moved by the city to an illegal spot.

As WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported, graduate student Patricia Preston, 27, had parked her Honda Civic on East 2nd Street between avenues A and B in Alphabet City on April 30, according to a New York Post report. But when she came back, she found her car was no longer there, and a Citi Bike bike sharing rack had appeared where it had been once parked, the newspaper reported.

A tow truck had moved Preston’s car so the Citi Bike rack could be installed, and the towing crew dropped the car off in a parking space that was not legal, the newspaper reported. They also parked the car backwards, which is grounds for a ticket in itself.

But Preston was the one held responsible, landing three tickets – two for $95 and one for $65, the newspaper reported. She was also hit with $220 for charges for the towing, the paper reported.

But Preston didn’t take it lying down. She worked her way through the city bureaucracy and finally got the Department of Transportation to admit it had been responsible for towing the car an dumping it in an illegal spot, the paper reported.

Following a letter, a judge dismissed all the fines, and ordered a $220 refund for the towing charges, the paper reported.

The controversial Citi Bike bike share program rolled out on Monday for roughly 15,000 annual members. Daily and weekly memberships begin on Sunday.

Polls show huge support for the general concept of a bike share program and similar shares have rolled out in other cities with few problems, but it’s hardly been a smooth ride for the long-awaited and highly-anticipated program — particularly because of the bike racks appearing around the city.

Some city drivers have complained that they’ve been improperly ticketed when the docking stations were put in place without warning. And some street vendors said they fear the program will cut into their territory.

Preston told the Post she is too frustrated by her ordeal to give her support to the bike sharing program now.

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