NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A parking crackdown in Long Island’s Five Towns has residents scrambling.
Shoppers and shop keepers are outraged over a sudden blitz of $135 parking tickets.
Pay attention to the signs in Woodmere, where parking is free unless you get a ticket.
“Come on, give me a break,” locksmith Kenneth Fine said.
His business abuts the Hempstead town municipal lot on Broadway, where there are 90 minute rules — which he claims were rarely enforced until a ticket blitz this week. Penalties were not posted.
“Some tickets stamped $50 for red light. This was penciled in, which to me means it came from above, stick it to em,” he told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan.
Those ticketed claim the parking fines are double New York City’s, and are unacceptable in a tiny village with no meters, where shoppers and shopkeepers have no municipal garages and must park on the street or designated lots.
“Now we are parking in front of people’s homes all the way down the street, nowhere to park,” Celeste Wischerth said.
Wischerth came out to find chalk on her tires for the first time.
“Looked like a big ticker tape parade here,” she said, “Everyone came out and saw tickets on their cars.”
The town said intermittent enforcement has been going on for years. A crackdown came this week following complaints that some cars were left overnight and rarely moved.
“It is entirely free parking, and if you don’t obey the law just like in any other jurisdiction, you face a ticket,” Hempstead Spokesman Mike Deery said,”That is the price for overstaying your welcome.”
The town pointed to limited parking — up to eight hours free — a few blocks away.
Still, locals are confused — saying some time limits are not clearly marked.
“Yeah, I got a ticket $135. I cannot believe this, I am 30 years here, I park all the time over there,” Antonio Brisco said.
Rules are now visible in front of Tony’s Tailoring. While CBS2 was there, town workers nailed up 90 minute time limit signs.
They were approved by the town board and Nassau board of judges “to cover increased administrative costs.”