Making Sure Muni- Meters Are Fair for All Motorists

Council Bill To Ensure Proper Operations

City Speaker Christine C. Quinn, City Council Member David G. Greenfield and Committee on Transportation Chair James Vacca announced new legislation that will reform the muni-meter payment system and ensure that drivers get what they pay for when parking in New York City.

New Yorkers in a variety of languages are venting over malfunctioning or broken muni-meters on city streets, such as this device on Fresh Pond Road near Palmetto Street in Ridgewood. The City Council has introduced legislation designed to ensure that drivers get the proper amount of parking time for which they pay and are not punished when a muni-meter breaks down.

The announcement was made in Lower Manhattan and the bill was introduced at the Council’s next stated meeting yesterday, Wednesday, May 8.

To address parking issues experienced by many drivers throughout the city, the Council legislation will require that muni meters:

– shut off and not accept payments when drivers are not required to pay for parking;

– not accept payments when a machine is out of paper needed to print; and

– resume accepting payments one hour prior to the onset of meter rules at a location.

“Whether you’re doing your laundry or parking your car, you should always get what you pay for,” said Quinn. “This legislation ensures drivers will no longer pay for parking at a meter, only to find out that this requirement ended 20 minutes earlier. Our legislation will reduce frustration and increase fairness in how we pay for parking.”

This legislation will immediately apply to meters that already have the functionality to do the above, which is approximately half of all existing street meters, mostly located in the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn.

The legislation will exempt existing muni meters that do not currently have the necessary functionality, but requires all meters have this capability within two years of the date the bill is enacted.

The announcement complements past Council legislation that works to ensure fair parking, including the establishment of a five minute grace period, as well as a law that requires Traffic Enforcement Agents, with electronic ticketing devices, to cancel a parking ticket immediately if the recipient can show a receipt indicating they have not violated the grace period. This averts the need for drivers to dispute the ticket later, saving them time and effort.

The Council also approved a bill to prohibit late fees on parking tickets prior to a determination of liability.

Additionally, under law enacted by the Council, if someone purchases muni-meter time, that time may be used at any metered locations so long as the meter rate at the subsequent locations is the same as, or less than, where the muni-meter time was purchased.

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