Friday, December 26, 2014

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NY1 For You: Drivers' Efforts To Fix Entire Block Of Broken Meters Begin To Pay Off

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A block of broken muni-meters near Columbia University in Manhattan was leaving frustrated drivers with no place to park and with fear of getting ticketed, so they turned to NY1 For You for help. NY1's Susan Jhun filed the following NY1 For You report.

Up until a week ago, muni-meters were a common source of confusion on 120th Street between Amsterdam and Broadway, where drivers said they could not park because all six of the meters on that block had been broken for months.

"None of the meters are working. This is pretty common, though," says driver Corey Pagnotta.

Even though drivers called 311 to report the meters broken and left notes on their window shields, they still got ticketed.

"No matter how much information I provide with the complaint number to 311 and all of that, they still write tickets. And I've had the tickets upheld actually, when I've contested them and then had to appeal that ticket," says driver Courtney Hooper. "And it's always been reversed on appeal, but it's a long process to go through."

NY1 asked the Department Of Transportation why drivers are being ticketed when the city knows the meters are not working and a spokesman simply said drivers should report the broken meters to 311, then find one that works.

That's easier said than done, when no meters on the block are working.

"It's been a big hassle," says driver Sarah Brazaitis.

After disgruntled drivers contacted NY1 For You, the station called DOT and a spokesman said the agency was working with utility providers to review a localized communication malfunction affecting credit card payments in the area. He went on to say DOT officials would inspect the area.

Now, the agency tells NY1 all affected meters are currently operational and accepting coin payments.

"Sometimes the coin aspect of it works, but I like to be able to pay with my debit card or credit card and I have found that not to be possible," says Brazaitis.

DOT officials claim they are working on that problem, and NY1 For You will keep drivers updated.

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