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Council panel OK’s area limits for broken meter parking

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A City Council committee has approved legislation that lawmakers said would clear up confusion among motorists using broken parking meters.

Int. 812A would enable motorists to park at the malfunctioning meters for the full time limit in the area rather than the one hour current law allows.

The broken parking meter measure now goes before the full Council for final passage. The new policy would take effect 90 days afterward.

Councilman John Liu (D−Flushing) said, “The broken meter rule is another example of city parking rules that are grounded in faulty premises and yet unduly penalize conscientious and law−abiding citizens. The committee will continue to pursue changes to parking rules that serve little purpose other than to regard the driving public as a cash cow.”

Councilman Simcha Felder (D−Brooklyn), who introduced the legislation, said, “Most people have no idea they are only allowed at a broken meter for one hour and that results in confusion, unfair parking tickets and anger.”

The Council Transportation Committee also listened to testimony on two bills, one to equip street lights with shields to prevent unwanted glare from illuminating the inside of residences as well as the night sky and another to require light−emitting diode street lights.

Int. 757, would require the city Department of Transportation to use shielded street lights to cut down on wasted light and stop unwanted glare in residential windows and the night sky.

Int. 806 would require the department to use LED street lights.

“In these tough economic times, we have to do more with less,” said Councilwoman Jessica Lappin (D−Manhattan). “This would save money and energy, so I hope the administration will work with us to embrace LED technology.”

But Deputy Transportation Commissioner David Woloch and Engineering Director Steven Galgano said the DOT was opposed to both bills.

Woloch said the city’s light shield bill was in conflict with legislation on the same issue. In June the state Assembly passed legislation requiring light shields to reduce glare and waste.

He said his agency was opposed to replacing all of the city’s 300 to 500 street lights with LED equipment because of a lack of up−to−date technology and the estimated cost of $286 million.

Representatives of several environmental and research agencies spoke in favor of both bills, some citing what they said were health concerns from too much light.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e−mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 136.

Posted 6:38 pm, October 10, 2011
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