The campaign to end the ban on overnight on-street parking, launched by White Plains resident Colleen Kirk, is continuing with a new Facebook page, petition and protest.
Kirk was tired of being ticketed when she or her guests parked overnight on the street in front of her apartment—so she started the “White Plains Residents for Overnight Parking” Facebook page last year. Click for our last story on Kirk’s efforts.
“I created this page because the city has changed dramatically since this ban was instituted in 1947,” said Kirk. “It has grown and brought more people into the city. However, it [the City] has not provided ample parking for its residents. In 1947 this was a town, it has since transformed into the city.”
Kirk recently stepped up her efforts with a new Facebook page, “Write In to Mayor Roach for Overnight Parking in White Plains,” to get sympathizers to do just that.
“I would like Mayor Roach to acknowledge that his constituents want change and to at least give us a trial run where we can park on the streets overnight without getting a parking ticket,” said Kirk. “If his team can then show that any type of criminal activity went up then I will concede.”
Karen Pasquale, senior advisor to White Plains Mayor Tom Roach, said the mayor has responded to everyone who has contacted the City either via e-mail or phone.
“He is willing to speak to any resident who has a concern about something in the city, not just on this issue,” said Pasquale. “He is not close-minded. He’s willing to hear folks out to see if there is anything we can do to help.”
Kirk said that the mayor called her after the first time she wrote him, and that she tried to call back the number—but it was a home phone number. She said she wants to hear from the mayor via e-mail.
Regardless, Pasquale said that the overnight on-street parking ban has been in effect for a long time, and has served the city well since it was first instituted. Click for information on why the City has instituted the ban, which includes issues of public safety and public works.
“There are a lot of benefits to it and the City has been the recipient of those benefits,” said Pasquale. “It’s been good for the city as a whole that the overnight ban on-street parking has been in effect.”
Kirk—who also started a petition, found here, that has 51 signatures—said that the parking ban serves mainly as a revenue driver for the City. She feels that since the municipal lots and streets are paid for through taxes, residents should be have the freedom to park there.
“This makes it entirely clear to me that the city is not willing to make a change, and that this will be a long fight for the citizens to receive what they are paying for,” said Kirk. “It feels like we are being robbed by our own city. Parking should not be about the revenue that it brings into this city, it should be about the civil right to use public roadways. He [Roach] is not concerned about the lifestyle affect from this ban or for the comfort of his citizens.”
She said the City should offer parking solutions that aren’t powered by privately held parking lots or that doesn’t have a cost for the average person associated with it.
She would like to see the City’s previous rule re-instated—where if a resident was having an overnight guest or had no choice but to leave their car in the street, they could call it into the police so it their car wouldn’t be ticketed.
“The department of public safety was getting hundreds of calls every night, they were inundated,” said Pasquale. “It really became counter-productive in terms of resources putting into it. They really had to re-evaluate it, and decided that there were just too many to handle.”
Kirk said this is proof that there is a need in the city that isn’t being met. In the meantime she is protesting the law and has been parking in the street overnight.
So far, she has gotten two tickets in the last six days.
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