There's no debate that traffic in New York City is horrendous, especially during rush hour. So you can't blame the city's mayor for trying to do something about it. Well, maybe if you're a local small business you can.
Early this year the city started piloting a six-month program to limit curbside deliveries during morning and afternoon rush hours to alleviate road congestion. I think it's safe to say that the program is not popular with some small business owners. The measure is "killing" them, said a group of concerned merchants who protested at City Hall this week to voice their displeasure.
"My customers used to come in to grab a snack before going to work," Evan Franca, the owner of Brooklyn Crepe & Juice, told ABC7 this week. "But they're not going to risk getting a $115 ticket and buying a $120 juice."
The tickets are being handed out during the three-hour period that makes up the morning and afternoon rush hour. Franca claims that one customer stopped by for "less than five seconds" before an officer ticketed him for double parking during the time period.
It's like a "six-month pay cut" for small businesses, Leslie Ramos, the executive director of the 82nd Street Partnership, told local news service QNS.
The "Clear Curbs" initiative has good intentions, but it's hurting many merchants and other businesses that rely on getting products throughout the day and who are unable to reschedule deliveries outside of the restricted times. It's also taking a toll on sales.
Some merchants who are already dealing with constant street construction that limits traffic claim they've lost up to 60 percent of their revenue during the Clear Curb hours. Others are warning that they may be forced to close entirely unless police officers scale back their "super aggressive" enforcement. They're pleading with Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio to be heard.
"This whole plan needs to be completely wiped out," said one City Council member.