‘Blitz’ krieg! Slopers getting tixed off as parking regs kick in

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Parking enforcement officers fanned out through Park Slope this week, doling out $45 tickets as alternate-side-of-the-street parking regulations came back into effect after an eight-week hiatus.

At least 13 cars were ticketed on Eighth Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues on Tuesday, and close to that number of bright orange tickets were plastered on windshields on Prospect and Park places between Sixth and Fourth avenues — just a small portion of the scores of tickets that were written since Monday morning, when the new rules rolled in.

Alternate-side parking — and the street cleaning that comes with it — had been suspended to allow the Department of Transportation to install more than 2,000 new signs to alert drivers that “No parking” periods were being cut from three hours to 90 minutes on side streets. The result will be cleaner streets, according to the Department of Sanitation.

The rules went into effect on Monday, though many residents remained unaware — until they got the ticket, that is.

“No one gave us any warning,” said Sandra Ellis, who barely avoided a ticket — but only because some neighbors were getting one. “I took out my garbage and I saw people moving their cars. I called 311 and that’s how I found out. This is the way the city makes money. It’s sneaky. Think about all the people on vacation. They never set a hard date for ending this, so if you left on vacation, you would think the rules were still suspended.”

Another resident added: “During the changeover, I got used again to leaving my car wherever. But everyone thought there’d be a grace period.”

Even if drivers like that were unprepared, cops at the 78th Precinct certainly were; next to the main entrance to the Sixth Avenue stationhouse was a map of the entire area where rules went back into effect — evidence that the police were more than ready to punish lawbreakers.

City officials said that they informed the public through news releases and via the 311 system. And Councilman Bill DeBlasio put out a flier alerting drivers — though many clearly didn’t get the message. The news was also widely reported in local and city media.

“I share people’s frustration with how this entire process has been handled by the Department of Transporta­tion,” DeBlasio said in a statement. “If, on Day 1, DOT had simply set a date for when alternate-side parking rules would go back into effect, this confusion could have been avoided.”

DeBlasio said he would call upon DOT to “show leniency on these tickets, given that many neighborhood residents were unaware the rules had gone back into effect.”

Community Board 6 District Manager Craig Hammerman is urging anyone who had received a ticket to contact his office.

“We will write a letter of support … and the ticket [may] be dismissed,” Hammerman said, citing the unusual circumstances.

On many blocks, drivers not only got tickets, but a souvenir of the newly reinstituted parking regulations: those bright yellow, impossible to cleanly remove Sanitation Department stickers warning car owners that they have failed to move their car in time for an arriving street sweeper.

Meanwhile, residents of Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill have begun experiencing the joy of not having to move their cars. The current “no alternate side” zone now stretches from Fourth Avenue to Court Street between Warren and 14th streets.

Updated 5:56 pm, July 17, 2008
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Reasonable discourse

eric prado from no longer a New Yorker says:
I had the joy of living in Park Slope for four and a half-years, with Alternate Side Parking, twice on each side weekly, for three hours each,for about half the time.
It would have been nice, although I know it will never happen in New York, if the city went around the affected area and left flyers on parked cars informing people of the reinstatment of rules.
Also, they could have put up temporary signs on the Alternate-side-parking poles showing the change back as a back-up. Even if you didn't move your car, you will see the information.
In defense of NYC, and I have litte of that,
I no longer live in Park Slope and I knew of the change back!!! Of course, I read it on different on-line sources. Then again, not everyone has access to those sources every day.
July 17, 2008, 1:13 pm
bob from brooklyn heights says:
i live in brooklyn heights and knew about the park slope parking! i heard it on two or three television news programs, constantly on 1010wins and ny1, and also in the brooklyn paper and ny times. if you live in the city and you don't bother to check the local news — any news — what do you expect. if the news media didn't pick up the story, that would be something else (then we'd need city flyers etc). but the story was all over the place!
July 17, 2008, 2:48 pm
Eight Generations in Brooklyn from Park Slope says:
I have very little sympathy for those ticketed.
I don't even have a car to worry about and I couldn't escape the news about the end of the parking "holiday" the announcement was made at the end of June!
July 17, 2008, 3:27 pm
Jack Maiorino from Astoria says:

Eight weeks is a nice break from having to go out and move your car. However, you are a New Yorker and it would have been wise to keep up on the progress of the switch over. You're at the mercy of people that aren't qualified to do what they are doing. These are appointees, political hacks who know nothing about urban planning. It's amazing to me that they would make an attempt to clean the same amount of streets in half the time. Sounds like something is afoot. If your car is D-Parked more than 90 mins., DOT will have another excuse to bill you for Bloombergs failed Congestion Pricing bid.
July 19, 2008, Noon
J. Mork from Prospect Heights says:
$45 for 8 weeks of free and unencumbered parking seems like a pretty darn good deal to me.

Too bad I don't get a check for declining to use my share of on-street parking by not owning a car.
July 22, 2008, 2:05 pm

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