Chutzpah: Goldberg Ticketed While Paying at Muni Meter


ira-goldbergIra Goldberg had heard talk of a new traffic agent ploy, but the rumors still seemed too far-fetched to be true as he parked his Mitsubishi Montero on E.52nd St. off Park Ave. on Monday.“I said, ‘That’s too outrageous. Nobody would do that,'” Goldberg recalled.

The 54-year-old courier proceeded directly to the nearest muni meter with the care of someone who holds a rare record among New Yorkers who make deliveries for a living.

“I have yet to pay a ticket for 20 years,” he can boast.

In a city desperate for revenue, even he cannot avoid receiving the occasional summons. But he has always fought it with the fervor of the righteous, always prevailing, if not at the initial hearing, then on appeal.

“I never paid tickets because I’m kosher,” he says. “I do things the right way.”

By that he means: “I am very careful how I park. I’m very careful in what I do. I follow the rules very carefully.”

He is always well-prepared in the event he encounters a traffic agent who is not completely versed on the law’s finer points.

“I carry a copy of all the traffic regulations,” Goldberg reported. “And I show them the regulation.”

He was as scrupulously correct as ever on Monday as he paid at the muni meter and turned back toward the Mitsubishi just down the block.

He was then astonished to see the rumors were true: A traffic agent was standing by his vehicle, writing a summons even though he had stepped away for just the necessary moment to pay.

“What are you doing?” Goldberg inquired. “I just bought the meter receipt.”

“I didn’t see you by the car,” the traffic agent replied by Goldberg’s account.

“How can I be by the car and buy the meter receipt at the same time?” Goldberg asked. “Didn’t you look to see if somebody’s over by the meter buying a receipt?”

“I don’t have to look,” the agent said.

Some months before, another agent hit Goldberg with a summons over lettering on his vehicle that was in fact in line with the regulations. He had calmly asked to see a supervisor and the agent gave him a number to call before she strolled away. A supervisor arrived to say there was nothing he could do because the agent was gone.

Now, on Monday, Goldberg decided there was only one way to get a supervisor there while the agent was still present. He made what he terms “a stink,” careful not to curse or threaten.

“You keep yelling at me, I’ll get a supervisor,” the agent said.

“That’s what I want,” Goldberg said.

The agent radioed a report of “an irate motorist,” describing Goldberg’s sputtering as spitting.

“Yeah, I’m irate, all right,” Goldberg said.

Two supervisors arrived, along with a dozen or so other agents.

“I could hear you yelling from 10th Ave.,” a supervisor said.

“That’s why you’re here,” Goldberg replied.

Goldberg had a receipt showing that he had paid at 11:48 a.m. The summons was dated 11:49 a.m., so the agent was clearly filling it out even as he was paying.

“Can’t you imagine my frustration?” Goldberg asked.

“You shouldn’t have been screaming,” the supervisor said. “If you had not been yelling, I probably could have done something for you.”

Goldberg was left with the summons.

“When I don’t get angry, I don’t get anywhere,” he said yesterday. “Well, I got angry, and I still didn’t get anywhere.”

He still has the receipt and figures he will again prevail, keeping his perfect record. He will meanwhile be putting a sign on his dashboard when he goes to pay for parking.

“At muni meter.”

{NY Daily News/Noam Newscenter}


  1. My brother once got a ticket in Brooklyn for not having a quarter in his hand when he got out of his car. This needs to be addressed but as we keep voting for Bloomy who cares about salt but not your money.

  2. this has been going on in bklyn for quite a while along with other ploys to give pple tickets-making it increasingly more uncomfortable for us and our children to call bklyn our home for too much longer.

  3. I pulled into a parking spot on 13th ave in Brooklyn last year, and was ticketed while still in the car, for an expired meter.

  4. i can top this. i got a ticket today for using my horn one time to a car that turned out to be an unmarked police car. He had to make his quote so I got the moving violation I guess it bothered him that i had the nerve to beep him

  5. Truth – You should have driven away before the meter maid wrote the ticket.

    angry as can be – You may have deserved it; you shouldn
    t be honking except for dangerous situations.