City Council to consider alternate-side changes

November 9, 2010 3:29:25 PM PST
It is a game of musical vehicles.

In comes the sweeper--out go the cars--drivers waiting it out to avoid getting a ticket.

"So I'll do work now, my blackberry, emails, work calls," said Ben Flores, an Upper West Side resident.

"Altogether I gotta wait here and hour and a half," said Joe Benne, an electrician.

This is the Tuesday-Friday alternate side-parking dance on West 86th Street near West End Avenue.

"Today is a beautiful day. No one was fighting. And they let the sweeper go by," comments Jose Vidot, a door attendant.

Here, drivers pull back into their parking spot as soon as the sweeper passes, even though they are not supposed to until the alternate side period is over. Perhaps not legal now, but City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez has introduced a bill to make it legal.

"This hearing opened the debate about the possibility of drivers parking their car after the streets are clean," said Ydanis Rodriguez, District 10 Councilman.

It is first of three city council hearings with the sanitation department.

"We're very concerned that we don't get the whole 90 minutes," comments John Nucatola, from Department of Sanitation.

This is part of the reason why some cars do not move at all, and other drivers just barely creep out of their spot--so the sweeper struggles to navigate around them.

Americo Espinal, an Upper West Side resident, comments, "Soon as they pass, what do they care? Clean it out already! You lost one hour to wait or whatever for nothing!"

It is about noon right now and West 115th Street has already been cleaned. But these cars will have to stay double parked for another half hour, and then they can park legally on the other side.

Over one million alternate side citations were handed out last year; police issued 80 percent of them.

"The city is probably going to end up losing money if people are allowed to get out of their cars," said Sophia Kelly, a Baychester resident.

Rodriguez proposes a vehicle tracking system instead, so drivers can use their cell phone to check and see if the sweeper had passed.

"Do you think the new bill they're trying to pass will make a difference? I don't think so. It'll be back to the same thing. People will fight over a spot no matter what," comments Jose Vidot.

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