2009-05-08 / Front Page

More Parking Tix In Rockaway's Future

By Howard Schwach

If you think that you have received more parking tickets this year than last, you're probably right. Police sources say that Rockaway residents have received 6,059 parking tickets in the first four months of this year in contrast to 5,611 during the same time period last year.

A traffic enforcement agent writes a ticket to a car while its owner waits in the PS 114 schoolyard for his grandchildren to be dismissed. Parents argue that local schools have become favorite targets of the TEA's. A traffic enforcement agent writes a ticket to a car while its owner waits in the PS 114 schoolyard for his grandchildren to be dismissed. Parents argue that local schools have become favorite targets of the TEA's. And, Mayor Michael Bloomberg says, expect more to come.

The cash-strapped city hopes to haul in a record $686 million in parking fines in 2010 in what the New York Post calls "the mother of all ticket blitzes."

Bloomberg's new budget shows that the city is projecting a $93 million increase in parking fines collected for the coming year, and city officials have reportedly admitted that the addition of 220 new traffic enforcement agents was designed for a single purpose - to drive up revenue, and not to enhance enforcement, according to Councilman Mark Gentile of Brooklyn.

Statistics provided by the NYPD's Deputy Commissioner for Public Information (DCPI) show that motorists in the 100 Precinct in Rockaway Beach received to date 2,907 traffic summonses as opposed to 2,261 last year, while motorists in the 101 Precinct in Far Rockaway received 3,152 to date as opposed to 2,621 last year.

Last year's parking ticket totals in each of the precincts topped 8,000, officials say.

That rivals many of the larger precincts in the city, areas with major shopping areas.

The 68 Precinct, which covers Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights in Brooklyn, had approximately the same number of tickets as Rockaway, according to police.

For at least a year residents have been complaining about the frequency of park- ing tickets.

"Traffic enforcement agents seem to show up around schools each day during dismissal, because many parents have to use the limited parking spaces near their kids' schools in order to pick them up," said one parent who asked not to be identified. "They wait until you walk into the school yard, and then they pounce."

Last year, one elderly man got a ticket at the MuniMeter on Beach 116 Street while he was walking from his car to the meter to get a receipt to put on his dashboard. The enforcement agent who gave him the ticket was unrepentant, stating that he can ticket any car that is parked without the requisite receipt in the proper place in the window.

Another Rockaway man got a ticket because his parking receipt had flipped upside down when he closed the car door.

The stories abound, and so do the tickets.

Police officials have said for years that there is no quota for tickets, but the PBA, the police union, has argued that officers who do not meet "productivity goals" set by their supervisors often find themselves with extra details or walking a foot post on the midnight tour.

"This is all about money," a resident who just got a double-parking ticket on Beach 129 Street said last week. "The mayor wants the money and he is going to get it from us one way or another. This is just another tax on those who live and shop in New York City."

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