Many Big Apple motorists are fuming as Mayor de Basio dithers over suspending alternate-side parking amid the coronavirus outbreak.
“I’m perplexed!” said musician Tom Curiano, 58, as he was parking his black Hyundai Elantra on Manhattan’s Prince Street Monday. “Everything else is being cancelled and everything else is closing.”
Curiano said that upholding alternate-side parking for street cleaning makes a mockery of social distancing advice that officials have put out as COVID-19 continues to spread.
“People will get into fights and touch each other over spaces. I have to keep moving my car during an epidemic,” Curiano said. “It’s silly.”
De Blasio on Sunday finally made the decision to close all of New York City’s schools until at least April 20, then announced that the city’s nightlife will shut down to help stem the spread of the virus.
In a Monday-morning TV interview, he said he’d be speaking with officials at City Hall and the Office of Emergency Management later in the day about suspending the parking rules.
But at a press conference that evening, he said the issue was still “under discussion,” and the city’s alternate-side parking Twitter account said: “#NYCASP rules will be in effect tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17.”
Queens nurse practitioner Yocheved Goldman, 33, called it “obscene that on top of home-schooling my kids and treating a 24-hour conveyor belt of patients I have to worry about getting my car ticketed because of alternative side.”
“Even the public schools have shut down for God’s sake, and they’re still street sweeping,” Goldman griped. “Give us a break.”
Joel Wiesenthal, 49, of Forest Hills, Queens, said it felt “suspiciously like a way for the city to raise some revenue,”
“They have to know that people are either self-quarantining and can’t move their cars, or too frantic about keeping their lives together to remember to move their cars,” Wiesenthal said. “Either way, it’s a cash cow for the city, and it’s nickel and diming us.”
Brooklyn Councilman Justin Brannan, who along with other city officials has been calling for the city to suspend alternate-side parking amid the coronavirus outbreak, echoed drivers’ concerns.
“It just makes sense to suspend alternate side parking,” Brannan said. “It is ridiculous to have people who we’re telling to stay inside unless it’s absolutely necessary come out twice a week to move their car.”
“It’s just silly and we can work with Sanitation to figure out another way to clean. There’s more important things to worry about now,” he added.
City Hall spokeswoman Laura Feyer said Monday that “any New Yorker under self-isolation who provides medical documentation or testimony can have their ticket dismissed.
Additional reporting by Julia Marsh