Drivers Blast Bloomberg, Say Bike-Share Rule Changes A Blatant Money Grab

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Nobody likes getting parking ticket. But it’s especially infuriating when the rules are changed right before your eyes.

As CBS 2’s John Slattery reported Monday it happened to at least a half-dozen motorists in Greenwich Village.

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As the city’s bike-share program spreads its tentacles, Jose Cherrez is one who got caught up in a ticket blitz that he said was unfair. How does he feel?

“Angry,” Cherrez said.

It happened on West 15th Street at Seventh Avenue, where bike racks now stand. But on Saturday morning, as surveillance video shows, cars were parked there and were legal. The tape shows a city transportation crew changing “alternate side, Monday and Thursday” signs to “No Standing Anytime.”

Then, within 25 minutes of the signs going up, traffic agents were swiping registration stickers and issuing tickets to five or six cars parked there. One building manager watched it happen.

“Well, it’s ridiculous,” Karim Znaidi said.

Cherrez, who works across the street, and was ticketed, spoke to the agents.

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“They don’t care.  They just want to collect money for Mr. Bloomberg — from my pocket,” Cherrez said.

The fine: $115. The only notice: paper signs that warned of towing if cars were not out by 6 p.m. Saturday, but what happened to the motorists Slattery spoke to happened six hours before.

“I’m gonna fight it. I am,” Cherrez said.

Nicole Gomez, a spokesperson for the Department of Transportation said parking next to a bike stand is illegal, “Still, any motorist who believes they received a ticket in error can contest it through the Department of Finance, which adjudicates violations.”

It all happened lickety-split, so fast that people watching said it was downright unfair.

The bike-share program is scheduled to begin Memorial Day, with 330 stations, sharing 6,000 bikes.

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