Joint session of the NYC Council’s Transportation Committee and Sanitation and Solid Waste Committee
Here’s a terrific article by Noah Rosenberg, reporter for the NY Times, about yesterday’s life changing for the better of the NYC driving public, meeting. I testified in favor of these wonderful three Bills, and will publish a blog article tomorrow about my impressions.
November 9, 2010, 5:05 pm
An Alternative to Alternate-Side Parking Rules
Every New Yorker has seen them or been one of them: motorists napping in cars idling in the street, or maybe knitting a sweater or reading “Moby Dick” while waiting for the alternate-side parking prohibition to end.
For more than 50 years, street sweeping has been a necessary evil of life in New York City, and residents must grudgingly obey the related parking restrictions, or else face an orange envelope tucked under their windshield wiper.
Now the City Council is pushing a possible solution, or at least an idea, to make the rules a little more bearable. A proposal debated at a public hearing on Tuesday would allow drivers to take up a parking spot once a street sweeper passed by. Two other bills discussed would reduce the number of days that alternate-side parking is in effect.
The joint hearing of the Council’s committees on transportation and sanitation and solid waste management prompted a large and vocal turnout of Council members from all five boroughs.
Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, the Manhattan Democrat behind the core legislation, emphasized the time wasted by working-class people on alternate-side days. “It’s not good for the city to restrict people from being in their jobs or being with their family,” Mr. Rodriguez said.
He added that the legislation would also minimize the harmful effects of the exhaust emitted by vehicles idling and circling for a parking spot.
At the hearing, the bill received support from several Council members and individuals including livery cab advocates and a member of New York Parking Ticket, an advocacy group for motorists. But Melanie Gold, who said she moved out of New York to flee the “parking circus,” was the most impassioned proponent.
“I have made work choices based on street-cleaning rules, I have made food choices based on street-cleaning rules,” Ms. Gold said. “My entire life has often revolved around, ‘Do I have to move my car today?’” She did not say where she now lives.
John Nucatola, the director of the sanitation department’s bureau of cleaning and collection, which schedules 46,000 street cleaning routes, played the lone devil’s advocate.
Mr. Nucatola argued that maintaining clean streets is imperative to promoting a positive image of the city, preventing litter from entering the sewer system and keeping rodents at bay.
He defended his agency’s commitment to maintaining 90-minute alternate-side blocks. Allowing parking after a mechanical broom has swept would take a lot of work and resources, he said, noting that sanitation trucks occasionally return to an area after an initial sweep. Mr. Nucatola admitted, however, that those instances are rare, and said that adequate technology and good communication between his department and traffic enforcement officers could potentially allow for some version of the bill down the road.
Mr. Rodriguez said his bill had attracted support from nearly 20 of the 51 Council members, though not so far from Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker.”
The winds of change…
I’ve got a real good feeling about this; especially after listening to the testimony at yesterday’s Council session. I was very impressed with the Council Members knowledge of the issue, and passion about creating a Bill that will significantly ease the alt. side parking pain of the NYC driving public.
More tomorrow about the three bills and the stakeholders who care most about the outcome.