NEWS and CURRENT EVENTS

 

De Blasio objects to easing of rules on alternate-side parking during street sweep days

The de Blasio administration told the City Council Monday to hit the brakes on a proposal to loosen alternate-side parking rules hated by city drivers.

The Sanitation Department said it objected to a proposed law that would let drivers return to parking spaces after street sweepers have passed.

The department said the proposal would lead to filthier streets.

“Our prime objective is to get the street clean, period,” said Paul Visconti, the assistant chief of cleaning operations.

The proposed law aims to ease the aggravation of a New York ritual that forbids parking for 90 minutes along a curb on the day a street sweeper is supposed to pass through.

By allowing cars to immediately return to the curb after the street is cleaned, the proposal could save car some owners hundreds of hours of waiting time a year.

But Visconti said that sweepers often have to come back and clean the same block twice because a school bus or delivery truck has blocked them from scrubbing some part of the street.

The street sweepers also often return for multiple trips during the fall because one sweeper can’t handle the thick stacks of leaves that pile up.

And, he said, ticket agents have no reliable way of knowing whether a street sweeper has already passed since the vehicles — unlike snow plows — do not carry GPS devices.

But Council members said they plan to push forward with the change anyway, calling it a much-needed break for drivers forced to spend hours moving their cars around or face tickets of $45 or $65.

“We should not be going after working-class and middle-class [drivers] when the street has already been cleaned,” said Transportation Committee Chairman Ydanis Rodriguez, the prime sponsor of the bill.

The change would likely cut into city parking ticket revenue, which last year included about $70 million from more than 1.2 million alternate-side parking tickets.

It has the support of 39 members, a majority. Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has not taken a position, although she supported a previous version of the bill under the last administration.

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