Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez and State Senator Adriano Espaillat held a walking tour in Inwood to educate residents about the use of newly installed Muni-Meters. Photo: Gloria Pazmiño
Seeking to address recent confusion following the installation of new parking Muni-Meters in Northern Manhattan, Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez, State Senator Adriano Espaillat and Manhattan Borough Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Margaret Forgione, gathered on the commercial corridor on Dyckman Street and Broadway this past Mon., August 1st to respond to concerns from residents, who have been contacting local officials to express their difficulties in using the Muni-Meters.
While the DOT has been replacing the coin-operated parking meters across the city in the last year, the change in meters in Northern Manhattan seems not to have been so quickly embraced. Complaints cited include difficulties with language and understanding the computerized system.
Pointing out that the machines have a language option to translate into Spanish, Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez demonstrated that the Muni-Meters can be operated both with quarters and credit cards to buy “time units of 20 minutes each,” he said.
“Nearly every day, I've been hearing from local residents who just aren't sure how the Muni-Meters work. They're new to our community, so it doesn't seem right to hand out parking tickets if not everyone understands how they are expected to park. Those in our community whose first language is Spanish face an additional hurdle, since the machines are labeled only in English. We want to make sure that everyone has the chance to understand this new method of parking,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez.
Citing the benefits from installing the Muni-Meters, Manhattan Borough Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Margaret Forgione, said that installing the machines increases the amount of parking spaces by up to 15 percent. “All the meters in Manhattan will be replaced in about a month [and] this will help to alleviate parking issues,” she said.
During a walking tour of the area, officials distributed flyers with instructions and demonstrated for residents how to operate the Muni-Meters.
Carlos García, president of Seaman Car Service, who was present during the walking tour, said the information was very important for his fleet of livery cab drivers who often make use of the meters.
“The Muni-Meters will add an element of convenience and order for residents. In these tough times, anything we can do to make New Yorkers' lives just a little bit easier helps," said State Senator Adriano Espaillat.
Drivers will have a five minute grace period from parking tickets if they need extra time to step away from the car to purchase the parking meter units, and the tickets are transferrable in the immediate area.
“If you buy an hour worth of time, but you only used ten minutes, you can use that slip in another parking spot,” said State Senator Espaillat.