May 10, 2013 By Christian Murray
Tobi Kahn, a Long Island City resident, parked his car in a perfectly legal spot on 47th Road on Sunday, April 28—only to find he had a ticket when he returned to his car the very next day.
Kahn had parked his car along 47th Road, between 11th Street and Jackson Avenue, for years. However, unbeknownst to him, the city had changed the parking signs that night without warning. His public parking space had suddenly been re-designated: “No Parking Except Authorized Vehicles 7AM-7PM Monday through Friday.”
Kahn said that seven cars were ticketed that day. All of the owners of those vehicles along that strip were unaware that the Department of Transportation was switching the parking rules.
“The whole thing was really creepy,” Kahn said. “Why didn’t they not mention it to anyone?”
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents LIC, is working with some of the victims to see if he can help them avoid having to pay fines that are about $100.
However, he said, he continues to advocate for legislation that would combat instances like these that have emerged all over the city—and in Long Island City before.
Van Bramer introduced legislation in May 2011 that would require the city to provide 72 hours notice before the effective date of a street sign change. He has said that the Department of Transportation opposes the law since the agency would have to pay its staff to go out and notify the public.
A public hearing was held before the New York City Council Transportation Committee in December and groups such as AAA of New York supported it.
Van Bramer is hopeful that the city council will vote on it and that it will be passed. His office said that incidents such as these highlight the need for the legislation.