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Bloomberg Blasts Parking Grace Period

Monday, January 12, 2009

City council members are seeking to give drivers a five-minute "grace period" after a parking meter expires before a traffic agent slaps a ticket on their windshield.

Several lawmakers say a "ticketing blitz" is underway, and instead of encouraging compliance with meter deadlines, it's punitive. But Mayor Bloomberg says five extra minutes would only invite procrastination.

BLOOMBERG: All that would happen is that, if you change the time, people would wait for another five minutes and then ask for a grace period. And pretty soon you would have no ability to collect parking meter payments, which we need, or clean the street, which we have to do, or anything else.

REPORTER: The five-minute parking meter grace period used to be part of the city's traffic enforcement policy. Recently, agents were advised to just use discretion when issuing tickets.

Council members David Weprin and Simcha Felder say the problem is that many drivers mistakenly believe they have a grace period.

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