Today’s news:

Council committee overrides veto of parking grace period bill

The City Council Transportation Committee today overrode Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s veto of legislation providing a five-minute grace period for motorists who get parking violation tickets.

The committee, headed by Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing), voted 10-1 in favor of overriding the mayor’s veto of the parking grace period bill, opening the way for a vote for a final override by the full Council Dec. 21.

It also overrode the mayor’s veto of the clergy parking bill, providing more generous parking opportunities for the clergy in pursuit of their religious duties. It passed the committee unanimously.

The parking grace period bill, sponsored by Councilman Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn), provides a five-minute grace period for drivers who park cars at Muni-Meters or where parking regulations are stated on signs.

“In a time of fiscal austerity, the allure of the parking ticket cash cow may be difficult for the city to resist,” Liu said. “That’s precisely why this bill is needed — to ensure that the city focuses parking enforcement on safety and traffic flow and not on generating revenue. A five-minute grace period had been the practice for many years prior to this administration and it’s time to restore some civility to parking enforcement by the city.”

In vetoing both measures, the mayor said both would cause chaos and increase confrontations between motorists and traffic enforcement agents.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at timesledgernews@cnglocal.com or phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 136.

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