Council Gives Veto-Proof Vote to Parking Meter "Grace Period"

Despite threats of a mayoral veto, the city council approved a five-minute parking ticket grace period in some circumstances. As their vote was 47 to 2, it is expected they will override the mayor's veto.

Daniel Garodnick of Manhattan and Tony Avella of Queens voted no. Maria Baez, as is her custom, was absent.

The grace applies to drivers parked at Muni Meters -- which issue receipts that may be handy in demonstrating the timing of the ticketing -- and those caught in alternate-side-of-the-street parking situations. Parkers at coin-operated meters do not get the grace and, given the hundreds of millions of dollars the city gets from parking tickets, will probably be worked to make up whatever shortfall commences...

Councilmembers are probably mindful of general antipathy toward ticket blitzes. Bill Thompson denounced the city's vulpine ticketing policies in the late mayoral campaign, to the approval of radio host and Brooklyn assemblyman Dov Hikind, who may be said to have his finger on his constituents' pulse.

Councilmember Simcha Felder, who told the Times last summer that Bloomberg's people had put his name on appropriation requests he had not sought, sponsored the bill, which supporters said would "eliminate 'gotcha' tickets," though this claim seems a little rich. "The five minutes does give you some leeway," a Great Kills resident tells the Staten Island Advance, "but I don't know if five minutes will do the trick."

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