City Council members introduced a piece of legislation on Oct. 17 that would end the city’s Stipulated Fine Program, which gives reduced fines for parking violation to delivery vehicles that block crowded streets.
“Massive delivery companies shouldn’t get a free pass — which many times they literally do — for illegally parking in front of fire hydrants, blocking bike lanes, or eating up handicapped spots,” said Councilman Costa Constantinides.
Normally when a parking ticket is issued in the five boroughs, recipients have 30 days to either pay the fee or request a hearing to dispute the fine. If delivery companies are a part of the Stipulated Fines Program, which is free to join, they are only required to pay a flat fee when issued a parking violation but waive their right to challenge parking tickets. The fee can either be reduced or dismissed.
Recent reporting from Streetsblog has found a $115 double-parking fine can be knocked down to $0 on an offense outside of midtown Manhattan. Advocates have also found delivery drivers abuse the system, blocking heavily trafficked bike lanes or entire streets.
The councilmembers that have rallied against the program include Queens Council Members Constantinides and Antonio Reynoso. They believe that the program gives companies and corporations special treatment and that by abolishing the program, air quality, traffic, noise and pedestrian safety will all improve.
The Stipulated Fine Program perpetuates a dual enforcement structure, in which corporations who have the greatest impact on our City’s streets and have the greatest ability to pay fines levied against them are not held accountable, and everyday citizens are left to pay the bill,” said Reynoso.
“We are a city of laws and enabling illegal practices such as idling and the blockage of bike lanes in the name of commerce is simply unacceptable,” he added.