A Parking Ticket Windfall as Parking Rules Resume

With New York’s alternate-side parking rules finally back in effect, one might think that the city would show some leniency toward the unmoved.

Think again.

The city issued 9,910 summonses on Monday, twice the daily average, to people who did not move their vehicles by the designated time.

Windshields, once buried in ice and snow, received a fresh dusting — this time of orange tickets.

Assuming an average fine of $55 per violation (the penalty is $65 in Manhattan below 96th Street and $45 anywhere else), the city’s 24-hour haul could add up to a cool $500,000 or more.

That would be a small but significant step toward offsetting the millions spent by the city on cleanup costs this winter. The Christmas weekend blizzard alone cost the city more than $38 million.

There are, of course, caveats. Some violators will most likely contest their summonses, and it could take months for the city to fully collect.

On a normal day — that is, one that does not follow a record month of snow — the city issues about 5,460 summonses for alternate-side violations, worth about $241,000 in fines, according to the Finance Department.

Asked if the number of summonses represented an all-time daily record, a police spokeswoman replied, “Unknown.”

The pile of tickets on Monday speaks to the difficulties experienced across the city as hapless drivers tried to pry out their cars from mountains of snow and ice that had not been touched in weeks. In interviews, many complained that they had been cut no slack, despite their vehicles’ being rendered immovable.

But even the local automotive club had little sympathy for scofflaws.

“If they wanted to get it out, they could get it out,” said Robert Sinclair, a spokesman for AAA New York. “I can understand the difficulty, but you have to do it. That’s life in the big city.”

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