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Overnight Parking Petition Circulates White Plains

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – After a decade of battling parking woes, Colleen Kirk drafted a petition asking Mayor Thomas Roach to try overnight parking on White Plains streets for a year. Since February, 133 residents have signed the petition.

“I cannot have guests and when I do, I basically pay them $20,” said Kirk, a marketer who lives in the Lake Street area. “I would never ask a loved one to pay for the privilege to see me. Both of my parents are over 70. I am not going to have them park in one of the garages that is over half a mile away.”

Prior to August 2010, police were fairly flexible about fielding calls from residents alerting them that guests were staying overnight and should not be ticketed. When the volume of those calls reached about 400 a night, the police decided to revert to only making overnight parking exceptions for emergencies, construction needs or other extenuating circumstances.

Since then, Kirk said she’s grown tired of spending visits with family and friends worrying about accruing tickets. She and 338 Facebook fans have requested that city hall allow overnight parking on the alternative side of the streets for a year to see if there are drastic consequences.

“There was no ‘downtown’ when I moved here in 1999.  We had a few pubs on E. Post Road and one on Mamaroneck Avenue. I applaud the city for growing, but it has to let go of Byzantine laws if it wants to keep moving forward,” Kirk said.

Kirk said parking restrictions have barred her from living anywhere without parking and forced her to break a lease when the private lot she used was sold. She’s currently looking for a home outside of White Plains. Other residents seconded Kirk’s thoughts, including Krista Bueti, who said she wrote Roach saying, “She would only consider purchasing in White Plains again if I had a driveway that could fit multiple cars, so as not to have to deal with these ridiculous parking restrictions.”

Karen Pasquale, Roach’s senior advisor, said the mayor has made it a priority to respond to anybody that contacts him about parking. The 1947 law has never been amended because it helps police spot suspects and stolen cars, first responders access those in emergencies, public works teams clear snow, and building inspectors spot overcrowding and other zoning violations, according to Pasquale. She said city hall wouldn’t comment on the petition until it was formally delivered to officials.

The mayor has also been hearing from those who applaud the overnight parking ban.

“I always thought the idea of banning overnight parking led to a better city, a safer city, and a cleaner city,” said Terence Guerriere, who noted that the Gedney Association he leads doesn’t have a position on the matter.

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