NEW YORK (VINnews) – A Brooklyn city councilman who has long vowed to put an end to illegal parking on has made good on his word, introducing legislation that will offer cash incentives to those who report the scofflaws.
Streetsblog (https://bit.ly/36SxAjP) reported that City Councilman Stephen Levin introduced legislation on Thursday with Council Speaker Corey Johnson that would allow civilians to reported those who park in bike and bus lanes, crosswalks and on the sidewalk, including police cars and cars with city-issued NYPD placards.
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Violators could face fines of $175, with 25 percent of that amount going to the person who filed the report the an online portal to be overseen by the Department of Transportation.
“We all know how dangerous it is when cars park in the bike lanes, bus lanes, with impunity,” said Levin, whose district has been plagued with illegal parking issues. “Rather than banging my head against the wall, why not give the public the power to enforce?”
The bill does include two exemptions – cars parked by hydrants and those illegally parked within a 1,320 foot radius of a school would not be subject to penalties under this legislation.
Placard abuse has been an ongoing issue in the city. Two units dedicated to fighting the problem were dissolved this summer by Mayor Bill de Blasio due to budget cuts – one of which was never actually created.
“This new bill would give New Yorkers the power to do what the NYPD and others have failed to do for so long – end placard abuse through real time crowd-sourced reporting and appropriately harsh penalties,” said Johnson. “Placard abuse is a street safety issue and a governmental trust issue.”
A similar program introduced to prevent cars from idling on city streets for more than three minutes, or one minute if near a school, has been successful. The city has paid out $183,000 in reward money to those whose video submissions of idling cars resulted in actual fines being levied.