Councilman Peter Vallone’s recent push for legislation that would allow motorcyclists to park for free at Muni-meters in the city brought supporters to the steps of Borough Hall with bikes in tow.
Vallone, who said he’s been riding for the past three years, stressed that there is no safe place to put a parking receipt on your bike. He added that it was impossible to prevent parking receipts or tickets from blowing away, and it was important to push for more environmentally friendly ways of transportation that don’t take up parking.
Assemblyman Michael DenDekker of Queens rode his Harley-Davidson to the rally. A motorcyclist for the past 35 years, DenDekker had recently received a ticket for failure to display a parking receipt on the dashboard of his motorcycle.
Though he admitted that he did not purchase one, DenDekker emphasized that there needed to be more direction from the law. He is also proposing a similar bill in Albany.
According to Department of Transportation spokesperson Nicholas Mosquera, the DOT recommends that cyclists use clear plastic holders to attach parking meter receipts so they can stay in place. Mosquera added that the DOT generally did not comment on proposed legislation until it came to a hearing.
However, both Vallone and DenDekker said they felt this may not prevent someone from stealing receipts or having receipts becoming damaged in bad weather weather.
Out in support of Vallone, president of a group of New York City Harley owners, Joe Sessa, agreed that the plastic containers that held the receipts would not necessarily prevent someone from stealing or damaging the paper.
“In the end, you can’t say that you did pay for it, but you can’t say that it blew away, and that’s not fair,” he said.
Vallone ended the rally by addressing the misconception that motorcyclists were hardened individuals. Pointing to the people present, Vallone noted the crowd was a combination of police officers, firefighters, and nurses.
“We are not the sons of anarchy,” Vallone added. “We are the sons and daughters of New York City.”