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More parking meter holidays, says Councilman Vincent Gentile

Parking at metered spaces would be free whenever alternate-side parking rules are suspended under a bill to be introduced on Wednesday in the New York City Council.

Currently, meters are generally suspended only on Sundays and designated “major legal holidays,” such as Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year’s. The proposal would add about three dozen additional days, such as Good Friday, Passover, the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, the Asian Lunar New Year and Veterans Day.

Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Brooklyn), a prime sponsor of the bill, estimates the city would lose $10 million to $20 million in revenue, but would benefit drivers who mistakenly assume that meters are free on alternate-side suspension days.

Transportation Alternatives executive director Paul Steely White panned the bill.

“Research and experience is conclusive: Free parking equals more curbside congestion, more circling the block and more double parking,” he said. “A holiday doesn’t mean a holiday from safe, well-functioning streets.”

Eric Koch, a spokeswoman for Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, whose support is key in passing any bill, said: “We will be reviewing it.” Mayoral spokesman Wiley Norvell said, “We’ll review the legislation.”

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