NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Long Island City residents are protesting a move by the Department of Transportation that eliminated permit parking spaces in a local municipal lot.

The DOT removed a little more than one-third of the parking spaces at the Court Square Municipal Parking Garage and transformed them into daily spots, 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported.

The agency is parking its speed camera trucks on the ground floor, Papa reported.

“It is not in the interest of DOT, nor presumably the local public, for these vehicles to be parked on street instead of inside a DOT facility … They contain valuable equipment and it reduces the risk they will be tampered with,” the DOT said in a statement.

Residents said they now have to wait on line for hours each month for a chance to get one of the remaining permit spots.

“This is the ‘Hunger Games’ of monthly permit parking,” one woman said.

City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said there has to be a better way or a different location for the vehicles.

“Whoever’s idea this was, they need to be raked over the coals,” Van Vramer told reporters, including CBS2’s Marcia Kramer. “This thing just stinks to high heaven. It’s dead wrong. It should be dead on arrival. It should never have been approved.

“The Department of Transportation has so many facilities all over the city of New York. They have land they can use under bridges where they park vehicles and store materials. They can and should do that there,” he added.

The DOT said 120 spots have been converted from monthly permit parking to daily parking for the public. It said the other 210 spots are still permit parking and added it is looking to create an online permit system.

Van Bramer told Kramer he is intent on “shaming” officials into changing their minds and giving the people back their spaces.

As for making residents wait on long lines to complete for permits, DOT said since the system was just started it will wait until it has been in effect for “several months” to see if changes are needed.


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