Proposal would pay New Yorkers to report vehicles in parked in bike lanes

Traffic moves through midtown Manhattan on August 31, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A new bill in the New York City Council would allow all New Yorkers to submit photos of cars and trucks parked in bike lanes, bus lanes, and crosswalks in exchange for a portion of the ticket. 

The bill, sponsored by Councilmember Lincoln Restler of Brooklyn, would make a new penalty of $175 for obstructing the various lanes, sidewalks, crosswalks, or fire hydrants. 

Civilians will be able to take photos of the violations and report them to the Department of Transportation, and if the DOT finds that the car is parked illegally, the person who reported the violation will earn 25% of the $175 ticket.

"I feel the safety risks every day that are associated with illegal parking," Restler, who is a cyclist, told Bloomberg. "It’s even more problematic for the parent pushing a stroller or a person in a wheelchair who can’t get by on the sidewalk because of illegally parked cars. That’s why we are creating, in this legislation, a new structure to bring real accountability."

The plan is modeled after the Citizens Air Complaint Program, which empowers New Yorkers to report idling commercial vehicles and receive 25% of the ticket issued.

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