A blizzard of tickets issued as alternate side resumes

February 9, 2011 2:18:18 PM PST
A blizzard of tickets could pay off big for New York City.

Plenty of car owners were caught short by the return of alternate-side parking rules, with their cars still encased in snow and ice.

The city issued nearly 10,000 summonses Monday, about twice the daily average.

The city could collect as much as a half million dollars from just that one day of ticketing.

On an average day, the city doles out 5,460 tickets. That's about $241,000 in fines.

Alternate-side-of-the street regulations allow the Sanitation Department to clean streets and remove remaining piles of snow, but some residents say that isn't happening.

Take a ride through just about any city neighborhood, and you can quickly see the problem: mounds of iced-over dirty snow still taking up valuable parking real estate.

When New Yorkers got the word last weekend to dig out for the return to alternate side parking or face the consequences, many assumed that meant easier and quicker snow removal for city crews.

"Take advantage of that time to clean the parking spaces out on that alternate side that's empty," said Ellen Gonzalez of Astoria.

But Ellen Gonzalez complains drivers in her Astoria, Queens neighborhood are still forced to park around or even on snow piles, while the city seems more concerned with ticketing then clearing snow-laden curbs.

"I saw them walking up and down looking to victimize anybody who they could," Gonzalez said.

In fact, the traffic agents reportedly issued twice the average number of summonses on the day alternate side parking rules went back into effect.

Korda Lou is angry about the $45 summons he got along with several of his Ridgewood neighbors.

He believes all the snow should be removed from the street before drivers are penalized.

"That's ridiculous. But what's our choice? No choice. We just have to pay for it," Lou said.