Should Parking Meters Be Suspended During Extreme Weather?

Photo by Hugo Smith
Photo by Hugo Smith

“Alternate-side parking regulations will be suspended for snow removal. Meters and all other parking regulations will remain in effect.”

We’ve heard those words so frequently over the last couple of days, it’s almost a cliché. With Winter Storm Linus coating local streets in a thick sheet of ice, it makes sense that alternate-side parking has been suspended through Saturday – but should the city’s parking meters be suspended too?

Councilman David Greenfield made the case for suspending the meters when alternate-side parking is not in effect due to snow in the City Council earlier this week. He argued that the meters force drivers to climb over mounds of snow and ice, which is dangerous and an unnecessary hassle.

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“I’ve gotten tons of complaints about this,” he told the New York Daily News, charging that by keeping the meters up and running, the city is only interested in making a quick buck.

Support for the bill from other lawmakers and the city’s Sanitation Department does not look promising. The New York Daily News reports:

Officials say they want curbs clear, especially in commercial areas where meters are more often in effect, to help with snow removal. They also say turnover in parking spots is crucial to local businesses.

De Blasio spokeswoman Marti Adams said the administration would review the Greenfield bill. Sanitation Department spokesman Vito Turso said his agency would also take a look, but would most likely “oppose the bill since the department needs access to the curbs in order to effectively clear snow.”

What do you think? Should Muni Meters be suspended during snowstorms?

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  1. Alternate Side parking and parking meter spots are not the same thing. Non meter parking are for residents of buildings without driveways who aren’t expected to move their car or pay every twenty minutes. No one who parks at a metered spot before the snow starts to fall was planning on keeping their car there in the first place for days, so with ample advance warning of a snow storm it is enough time to move your car like you were originally planning anyway and go to a non metered spot to wait out the storm. It is not necessary to leave your car at a meter during a snow storm. Go home.

  2. Also, metered streets tend to be commercial/thru streets which are critical arteries for the vehicles that need to get around in the immediate aftermath. Clogging them up with freeloaders just seems like a bad idea.


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