Christine Quinn: Parking Ticket Fix Good For Constituent Relations

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn was on the Brian Lehrer Show this morning to talk about her State of the City speech. And as parking tickets were one of the big ticket items in that speech, Brian asked --quoting Andrea Bernstein's Transportation Nation article--the following question:

Brian Lehrer: More than 90% of people who work in Manhattan take mass transit, not their own cars. So why the attention to the problem of parking tickets issued to drivers  while they're putting money in the meters?

Christine Quinn: Well, for a couple of reasons. We've been very aggressive on mass transit issues in the Council from our big campaign last year to successfully save student MetroCards to supporting congestion pricing for extra funding for the MTA and an array of other issues.  But we in the Council want to be responsive to the issues that New Yorkers call us about.

And certainly mass transit is one of those, and we've done that. But we track every call and complaint and issue we get in the Council through our CouncilStat program. And tickets -- very very high on the list. We want to respond to what New Yorkers are asking us to help them with, and unfair ticketing and parking challenges -- because even if you take mass transit to work in Manhattan, if you live somewhere else and you have a car, you have to figure out what do to with it before you go to work.  So this was an attempt to be responsive.  And also particularly as it relates to the ticket issues with Muni-Meters, to try to eliminate one of those things that seems small -- but you get a ticket, you parked your car, you walked to the Muni-Meter, in those 30 seconds or 60 seconds you're going to the Muni-Meter, technically you haven't paid yet. But you have no other choice. You can't like ESP your money to the Muni-Meter, there has to be some period of time. You get a ticket - it's enraging.  And it's enraging because it just feels like government is trying to get you, not help you. I think getting a change in that is also just good for the city's relationship with its constituents.

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You can listen to the full interview (audio to be uploaded later today) and participate in a discussion about this issue here.