Over the past few weeks and months, the residents and merchants of Woodhaven have been reaching out to the Woodhaven Residents Block Association — complaining that the DOT has been taking advantage of local construction to write tickets. What we have seen has been very discouraging.
The MTA has been working on the El Train along Jamaica Avenue for months. It has been disruptive to residents and businesses alike — and it has gradually been falling further and further behind schedule. But the local residents have understood the difficulties, and tried their best to accommodate the work.
In return, they’ve gotten traffic agents taking advantage of the situation, writing as many tickets as they can. Over the recent heatwave, all of the parking meters had a piece of paper taped on them listing dates that people could not park there. When work fell behind schedule, a second piece of paper was taped to the meters, extending the regulations.
Some days — there wasn’t a single worker in sight. It was too hot too work. Except for the meter maids — they were laying in wait, ready to write tickets. Jamaica Avenue was laying wide open — there was no one working — and when cars parked at the curb, they were ticketed.
DOES THE CITY OF NEW YORK HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO?
Now, because the heat related downtime is delaying the project even further, the DOT has put up the following signs along Jamaica Avenue:
Okay — so now you know. NO STANDING ANYTIME. On Jamaica Avenue.
Now, we’ve heard about a few business owners and, worse, a bunch of customers getting tickets — we’ve heard about tickets up to $120 Dollars. ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY DOLLARS.
Excuse our French, but it sucks that NYC is trying to make money, ticketing our business owners and residents — the very people who are being inconvenienced and trying to cooperate with the city.
We can’t get people ticketed for illegal conversions. For illegal dumping. For tearing up their lawns and pouring cement so they can park their cars. We can’t get people ticketed for parking cars on the street with out of state license plates. We can’t get people ticketed for blasting noise in their backyards at 4 in the morning. People can abandon houses and abandon cars and leave them to drug addicts and vagrants without penalty.
But if you pull up and run into Scaturro’s — when NO ONE is working on Jamaica Avenue — you can get ticketed for $120 Dollars.
This comes on top of the ticket fiasco on 88th Street — here is one residents’ description:
Recently, we were advised not to park on our block beginning on May 31st 2011 as per the posters that the NYC Dept of Design and Construction put up on May 20th. However, on the morning of May 25th, these posters were taken down at 7:30AM and replaced with do-not-park posters that specified no parking beginning on May 25th. Police started issuing parking tickets immediately. Needless to say, the entire block received $60 tickets, because we were not given proper 24 hour notice to move our cars.
Did you get that? The laws changed at 7:30 AM — and tickets were being written immediately. So what happened?
We contested this outrage, and the NYC Dept of Design and Construction graciously admitted they were wrong and contested the fines. The NYC government, however, did not agree, and we are still being asked to pay $40. Add up all the $40 tickets, and the City makes a nice bundle on law-abiding citizens.
The WRBA is still fighting this outrage — and now we have another one on our hands. Be very careful parking on Jamaica Avenue — watch out for no parking signs — and let us know if you get any crappy tickets —