A New York City lawmaker has introduced a bill that would hike the fines for motorists who constantly violate alternate side parking across the five boroughs.
The bill, introduced June 22 by Brooklyn Council Member Lincoln Restler, would increase the fines for repeat offenders, from $65 for a first offense to $100 for any subsequent offense within a 12-month period. The bill also calls on the NYPD to tow vehicles with three or more violations within a 12-month period.
Currently, violators are slapped with a $65 fine for failing to move their vehicle during alternate side parking hours, regardless of how many violations they have racked up. The city requires motorists to move their vehicles so the Sanitation Department can sweep the streets.
Restler said that the legislation is needed to make sure the streets get cleaned. He also said that motorists are prepared to risk getting fined as opposed to paying for an off-street parking space.
“Our streets aren’t getting cleaned because it’s cheaper to pay an occasional ASP ticket than for a spot in a garage,” Restler tweeted. “By failing to move our cars, our streets are getting dirtier & rats are infesting our neighborhoods.”
The bill, which has been referred to the Transportation Committee, is also sponsored by Council Member Erik Bottcher, who represents the Greenwich Village/Chelsea district.
Restler said that the fines are less costly than paying for a designated parking spot, hence the need to target repeat offenders.
He told reporters that off-street parking can cost about $600 per month in parts of his Brooklyn district, well above the cost of an occasional ticket.
The city set the fine at $65 in 2020 across all five boroughs. Prior to the change the $65 fine only applied to drivers below 96th Street in Manhattan, with the rest of the city subject to a $45 fine.
If the bill is passed by the City Council and approved by Mayor Eric Adams, it would go into effect within 60 days of passage. A public hearing would have to be held first.
The bill is already facing some resistance. An online petition was launched Tuesday in opposition to the proposal.
“We, the residents of Brooklyn, strongly oppose Lincoln Restler’s proposed legislation to increase fines for alternate side parking violations. This proposal would unfairly burden hardworking individuals and families who are already struggling to make ends meet,” the petition reads. Currently, 420 people have signed.