NY city council bans alternate side parking shame stickers

New York City drivers rarely get much to be happy about, but a recent decision by the New York City Council to eliminate the practice of stickering parking violators is bound to be greeted with unanimous joy. Outside of the mayor's office, that is.

Despite The New York Times reporting a 47-0 vote in favor of prohibiting the city's sanitation department from applying the stickers to cars parked in the way of its cleaning crews, the Bloomberg administration was steadfast in its support of the "shame" stickers. They date back to 1987, when the sanitation commissioner launched a pilot program to affix stickers on cars that were parked in the way of street sweepers. Since the stickers are so hard to remove from vehicle windows, they provided an additional motivation above and beyond ticketing, and the Sanitation Department has been using them ever since, much to the chagrin of motorists.

City Council members weren't buying the necessity of continuing to deface residents' vehicles, however. Even if Mayor Michael Bloomberg vetoes the bill, the Times says the unanimous vote effectively makes the decision "vetoproof." David G. Greenfield, a councilman from Brooklyn, is quoted as saying, "What makes this such a terrible infraction that you have to be punished in such a serious way? It's not reasonable behavior in the 21st century."

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