BY: LA SHAWN PAGÁN
Community members and leaders met on the steps of city hall demanding Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Department of Sanitation of New York (DSNY) install GPS systems in all 355 street sweepers citywide.
The new act will allow drivers to park on the restricted side of a street that has been cleaned or remain in their cars and move once the street is cleaned.
Installing GPS in the street sweepers will also allow residents to check online or call 3-1-1 to see if their street has been cleaned.
Councilmember Peter Vallone, Jr. expressed his support for the new legislation.
“The bill would allow people to park on alternate side of the street parking days after a street sweeper goes by,” Vallone said. “It’s important for us to know when that street sweeper goes by.”
Manhattan Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., among others, also came out to have the legislation enforced.
“People’s lives revolve around when to move their cars,” said councilmember Vincent Gentile, Brooklyn’s district 43. “We should always think creatively.”
Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez, Manhattan district 10, mentioned the negation process on having the GPS systems installed.
“This is something that we have been working on for two to three months now,” Rodriguez said. “It is time to put GPS in the street cleaners, by doing so we will know when they are cleaned.”
Rodriguez also mentioned supporters of the legislation included Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Junior and other community groups alike.
“When the city is forcing me to stay an hour and 45 minutes in my car, it’s holding me hostage,” said Pedro Heredia, a Washington Heights community leader. “Preventing my business from making money, preventing me from making money.”
The act will also protect drivers who are waiting in their cars for the street sweepers to come by from getting fined.
According to city officials, drivers who are waiting to move their vehicles are subject to parking tickets, generating an estimated 10 million in parking tickets a year, as well as gaining a tremendous amount of support and popularity from the community.
“We’ve asked the mayor and the department of sanitation to install GPS in the street sweepers,” said Rodriguez. “Right now the priority is removing all the snow from the streets, so we are looking for this to happen by spring.”