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Bikers should park free: Pols

City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (c.) and state Assemblyman Michael DenDekker (third from l.) said they have introduced legislation allowing motorcycles to be able to park without paying the Muni-Meters. Photo by Rebecca Henely
TimesLedger Newspapers

The motorcyclists who parked their Harley-Davidsons in front of Queens Borough Hall last Thursday said they want to obey the law, but are not sure how.

While standing parking meters that take quarters offer a secure place for motorcycles to park, riders say there is no place for them to secure a Muni-Meter parking receipt where it will not potentially be blown away or stolen.

Motorcycle enthusiasts City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) and state Assemblyman Michael DenDekker (D-Jackson Heights) have thus proposed legislation exempting motorcycle riders from paying Muni-Meters.

More than a dozen motorcycle riders, both men and women, came out to support the legislation.

“We are not the Sons of Anarchy, we are the sons and daughters of New York City,” Vallone said, referencing the TV show. “This is about fairness for motorcycle riders when they park.”

DenDekker said his inspiration for the legislation came when he received a $65 ticket the previous week for failing to display a Muni-Meter receipt on his motorcycle.

“I’ll be honest. I did not buy one,” DenDekker said. “I did not buy it because I don’t have any place to put it.”

A spokesman for the city Department of Transportation said it does not comment on proposed legislation until it comes to a hearing. The DOT’s website, however, recommends motorcyclists use clear plastic holders that they can attach to their bikes with a lock. The department said these holders can be found in what it called specialty stores.

DenDekker criticized this description as being too vague. He suggested the state Department of Motor Vehicles give these to motorcyclists when they register every year.

“We need more direction. We need more information,” DenDekker said. “The city needs to work with us. Not against us.”

John Sessa, director of the New York City Harley Owners Group and a resident of College Point, said he believed that exempting motorcycles from having to use the Muni-Meter would be a good way to promote a form of travel he characterized as environmentally friendly. He said his car gets 15 miles to the gallon, but his motorcycle gets 40 miles to the gallon.

“It will save gasoline. It will save energy,” Sessa said.

In response to the question of whether car drivers would think it unfair for motorcyclists to be exempt from paying for parking while cars would need receipts, Vallone said he understood.

“But right now it’s not fair that motorcycles are ticketed when there’s no way for them to obey the law,” he said.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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Reader Feedback

Joe Grimes from Mid wood says:
Great idea. I've had my muni meter receipt swiped twice and thankfully never got ticketed but considering the amount of space a motorcycle takes up it is a bit ridiculous to pay the same fee as a car or anything at all.
Dec. 12, 2012, 9:56 pm
Natalie dixon from Brooklyn says:
Thats a great idea, if we pay less at the tolls why should we pay just as much for parking? I always pay at the muni meter and fortunately never had my ticket stolen. I always take a picture of the ticket as proof if I ever got a ticket. I believe if they are capable of designing bicycle lanes, they should be able to design motorcycle parking space and bring the old Parking Meteres back for motorcycles only.
Dec. 13, 2012, 8:45 pm
Robert from Bay ridge says:
The city needs to do more to encourage more motorcycle ridership to cut down on traffic congestion. In most major European and asian cities, motorcycles make up a greater percentage of vehicles on the road compared to US cities. They also a significant number of designated parking areas for bikes to accommodate that higher usage. This city does nothing for riders except create grief for them.
Dec. 13, 2012, 9:11 pm
Donald from Bushwick says:
bicycles get their own lanes and a secure place to park! In most places We pay insurance,reguistration, inspeccion, and now tickets for not having a secure place to display a recieved from the multimeter... Free parking for motorcicles!!!!
Dec. 14, 2012, 2:53 pm

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