Why We’re Overriding Bloomberg’s Veto Of Our Parking Sticker Ban


nyc-sanitation-stickerBy Christine Quinn and David Greenfield, New York Daily News

New Yorkers are all too familiar with the impossible-to-remove parking stickers that the Department of Sanitation pastes on cars that are not moved properly on street cleaning days. Remnants of these neon stickers often persist on car windows for months, despite vigorous efforts to scrape them off. They add insult to the injury of a fine that can cost as much as $65.

That’s why, back in January, we in the City Council overwhelmingly voted in favor of our legislation to prohibit the use of these stickers by the city – legislation that Mayor Bloomberg promptly vetoed.

The Bloomberg administration would have us believe that without these stickers, the city could not properly clean the streets. In fact, they have gone so far as to argue that if you take these stickers away, we will go back to the mean, dirty streets of yesteryear.

Neither the facts nor common sense support this argument.

When the Department of Sanitation first started using stickers in 1988, the city’s street cleanliness ratings were 73.1%. Eight years later, street cleanliness ratings had gone up – to 73.2%. That’s almost a decade without any improvement. This fact clearly contradicts the mayor’s argument that stickers were responsible for cleaner streets.

Then, beginning in 1996, street cleanliness ratings began to rise. What happened? Well for one thing, the city increased funding for street cleaning and waste collection by nearly $200 million between fiscal years 2002 and 2012. And the Sanitation Department started to make clean streets a top priority, focusing its efforts on identification of problem areas, increasing resources and stepping up enforcement.

That wasn’t all. The Council worked with the mayor to increase collection from corner litter baskets throughout the city. Not surprisingly, emptying trash bins more frequently led to an improvement in street cleanliness ratings: When collection routes increased from 63 in 2001 to 102 in 2005, the city’s overall street cleanliness rating went up almost 10 points.

In addition, the number of Business Improvement Districts has almost doubled – to 67 – in the past 15 years. These BIDs provide valuable funding to supplement sanitation services in their neighborhoods.

And in recent years, the city’s Work Experience Program has placed thousands of additional workers in jobs cleaning litter and maintaining litter baskets.

Finally, the city doubled its efforts to clean up vacant lots to almost 5,000 lots per year and improved outreach and education through city-sponsored litter campaigns while increasing enforcement of illegal dumping laws.

All of these factors contributed to the clean streets New Yorkers now enjoy. To claim that this improvement is based on parking stickers – and to insist that if we get rid of the stickers, we are going back to dirty streets – is disingenuous and insulting.

New Yorkers who park illegally are rightly issued fines. Those fines serve as ample deterrent from repeat offenses. Branding vehicles with stickers is a punitive practice with no measurable results. Today we’ll vote to override the mayor’s veto, and make life a little easier for drivers in all five boroughs.

Quinn, who represents the West Village, Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, is speaker of the City Council. Greenfield is a City Council member representing Midwood, Boro Park and Bensonhurst.

{NY Daily News/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. “Neither the facts nor common sense support this argument.”

    That hasn’t stopped his Royal Highness from giving out these “Gotcha” edicts!!! Oh G-D, when can we rid ourselves of this Mayor?!

  2. well here is whats happening.
    #1: people, home owners and apartment dwellers, some self sufficient, some on social services….they litter the streets. THEN, the city comes by and tickets car owners, home owners, tax payers (for the most part) for not moving the cars so that we can get the litter who #1 made.
    in this huge city there has to be a person who can suggest some other option…..
    first of all, ticket people who are littering right on the spot. It is just insane to clean up after people and cause such an issue…..it causes so much distress. The mayor has a parking spot, why would he have to worry.
    I work near a pediatricians office…..and those people are always getting ticketed, just to bring their babies to the doctor on a “parking rules day”. Very odd.

  3. There is another argument against the sticker. It is a punishment without due process. A city worker can sticker a car which may have been disabled or my have a permit that was not noticed etc. The stickered person has no opportunity to have his day in court.
    A fine can be fought in court.