By Carlotta Mohamed
Flushing City Councilman Peter Koo’s bill to suspend alternate side parking on Lunar New Year’s Eve — one of the most important cultural days of the year for Asian-Americans — was unanimously approved by the City Council.
The bill, Intro 497-A, was approved by City Council members Nov. 28 and adds the Lunar New Year’s Eve to the city’s existing list of special religious and cultural holidays in which alternate side parking rules are suspended throughout the five boroughs.
Koo introduced the bill to City Council earlier this year in February.
“Suspending alternate side parking on Lunar New Year’s Eve is a simple way for the city of New York to respect this important cultural holiday by allowing more communities to share in the great patchwork of cultures, values, traditions that make up New York City,” said Koo.
According to Koo, Lunar New Year’s Eve is a time when Asians from all over the world travel home, often across countries and continents, to be with their loved ones. In New York, it’s an intense travel time when families reunite, eat at restaurants, and prepare to celebrate the holiday.
“Lunar New Year is one of the most important holidays for [the] Asian community,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. “The Council wants to make sure Asian families honor their culture without worrying about cars being towed. And I look forward to participating in some of the celebrations.”
Manhattan Councilwoman Margaret Chin said she’s thrilled that the City Council has decided to respect the important of the day by suspending alternate side parking.
“The gesture may seem simple, but it will greatly improve everyone’s experience throughout the Lunar New Year’s Eve. I want to extend a special congratulations to Council Member Koo for successfully shepherding the legislation that made this possible through the council,” said Chin.
Reach reporter Carlotta Mohamed by e-mail at cmoha