Assemblyman Colton Introduces Bill to End Muni-Meter Shell Game

“City bureaucrats must stop ticketing New Yorkers for breaking a law that does not exist! New Yorkers are getting ripped off for simply following the law!” - Assemblyman Colton

Who: Brooklyn Assemblyman William Colton (D-Bensonhurst/Gravesend)

What: Assemblyman Colton has introduced legislation (A9065) that would allow New Yorkers to use the same muni meter receipt to park in more than one location. This bill seeks to end what he calls a parking meter “shell game,” which rips off New York motorists.

Why: In September 2011, Assemblyman Colton learned that many New Yorkers were being unfairly ticketed for using the same muni meter receipt with remaining time left on it to park in more than one location, despite no law banning such practice.

However, when first contacted by Assemblyman Colton’s office, the Department of Transportation (DOT) could not clearly state whether New Yorkers were allowed to use the same receipt in more than one location. Additionally, 311 operators would routinely feed misinformation to callers by telling them they were not allowed to use the same receipt more than once.

Sensing a shell game at play, the Assemblyman got in touch with Glen Bolofsky, from the Parking Ticket Web site, who had in his possession a letter from a DOT commissioner clearly stating that the practice is permissible under city law. According to Mr. Bolofsky, many motorists were still being ticketed for this practice and administrative law judges from the NYC Finance Department (DOF) routinely ruled in favor of the city. This “shell game,” as Assemblyman Colton calls it, has resulted in New Yorkers getting ripped off for simply following the law.

That is why Assemblyman Colton is urging his colleagues to expeditiously pass his legislation to end this rip off scheme at once and provide clarity for New Yorkers that they are in fact allowed to park in more than one location using the same receipt. His bill would also send a clear message to both DOT and DOF bureaucrats that their negligence in following the law will not be tolerated any longer.

Next step: Assemblyman Colton’s bill is now in the Assembly’s Cities committee. Assemblyman Colton plans to aggressively seek supporters for his timely piece of legislation. The bill will need passage by both chambers of the legislature and the governor’s signature before becoming law.