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Mayor Compares Gripes About Illegal Parking to Murder

By Jill Colvin | November 4, 2011 2:31pm
An alternate side parking sign.
An alternate side parking sign.
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MANHATTAN — Those parking violation stickers are killer.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg stuck up for the pesky stickers that the Department of Sanitation slaps on car windows to shame driver who break alternate side parking regulations — comparing those who complain about them to orphans who gripe about killing their parents.

“It’s almost like, you murder your parents and then you say to the judge, ‘But I’m an orphan, you can’t put me in jail,'" Bloomberg said Friday on John Gambling's WOR radio show. "Don’t murder your parents, you’re not an orphan.

"Don’t break the law and you don’t have to worry about it."

Bloomberg said that the fluorescent stickers, while annoying, are an excellent motivating tool.

“If people are complaining then we should keep doing it,” he said.

The fluorescent stickers, which have been a city fixture since 1988, end up on side windows of cars that don't move in time for alternate side of the street parking, and read: “This vehicle violates New York City Traffic Rules. As a result, this street could not be properly cleaned. A cleaner New York is up to you.”

The stickers are meant to be humiliating and difficult to remove, but not everyone's a fan, prompting some elected officials submit legislation to ban the stickers.

Brooklyn City Councilman David Greenfield has introduced legislation, supported by Upper Manhattan City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, that would ban the stickers, which the mayor said are considered more effective than fines.

"I'm certain the mayor was joking [Friday] when he compared those who accidentally park on the wrong side of the street to those who murder their parents in cold blood," Greenfield said.

"However, these stickers are no laughing matter to the more than 80,000 New Yorkers whose vehicles are defaced each year, and they surely aren't smiling while spending hours trying to scrape it off."

At a council hearing this week, the Department of Sanitation testified against the proposed ban, arguing that the stickers are an “effective deterrent against those who flagrantly violate the law."

The department is currently exploring changing the adhesive to make the stickers easier to remove, officials said.

On Thursday, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said the stickers definitely work.

“The stickers are a big pain in the neck because they’re not easy to get off of your car at all," she said. “You walk up to your car and you see that sticker, and you’re taking a walk of shame over to your car."

The mayor also dismissed the City Council’s passage of legislation Thursday asking the state to permit the city to consider creating residential parking permits in certain neighborhoods.

“For some reason… the Albany legislature wants to get involved,” he said.

“I’ve heard it has no chance in passing."