20 Aug 2014
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City to Collect on Tickets for Non-occuring Street Sweeping

The agency holds that the tickets are valid, though the signs weren't.

City to Collect on Tickets for Non-occuring Street Sweeping

Baysiders stuck with tickets issued on Bell Blvd. for parking during street cleaning hours will still have to pony up to the Department of Finance — even though the street hasn't been swept in years.

"As long as it was a violation when the ticket was written... then it's still a valid ticket," said Finance spokesman Owen Stone. "The law is written in a way that you have to obey the signs," he added.

Bell Blvd. has not had a street cleaning by the Department of Sanitation in several years. Signs prohibiting parking for sweeping from 8 to 9 a.m. on most weekdays were left up by the Department of Transportation until last month.

Drivers parked in violation of the outdated signs were still .

Councilman Dan Halloran, R-Whitestone, had blasted the DOT at a Nov. 16 for its refusal to remove the signs. They were removed by the DOT shortly thereafter.

 "I am calling for the Department of Finance to dismiss any outstanding tickets for 'no parking' violations due to street cleaning on Bell Boulevard," Halloran said in a release issued after the signs were taken down. 

"Here, drivers were paying $100 tickets for street cleaning that hasn't happened in years," he said adding, "I won't stand for my constituents getting pushed around by city government." 

Nonetheless, the collecting agency, Finance, is unmoved. They are not looking into refunding paid fines, or dismissing outstanding tickets.

"I'm 99 percent sure that there's nothing legally even that can be done," said Stone.

"Halloran is right to be enraged. Another bureaucratic bungling in favor of the Department of Finance," said the activist known as ' Jimmy Justice,' a vigilante of sorts, who focuses on law and traffic enforcement.

"At the end of the day the city cares not about the public but only about how to take as much money out of people as possible," said Justice.

Of the income the city has made on alternate side parking tickets issued in recent years on Bell Blvd., Stone said he did not believe the fines "make a difference in the revenue."

Asked if Halloran has a next-move to counter the enforcement of the tickets, a spokesman said, "We don't really have a comment at this time.  The Council Member is looking into further action." 

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