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Some drivers call return of alternate side of the street parking in NYC an unnecessary money grab

Twice weekly alternate side parking returns to New York City
Twice weekly alternate side parking returns to New York City 02:35

NEW YORK -- Twice-a-week alternate side parking returned to the city on Tuesday.

For the last two years, drivers got used to moving their cars only once a week as a pandemic perk, but that's no more.

And as CBS2's John Dias reported, some drivers aren't happy about the return to normal.

The city calls it alternate side parking, but if you ask drivers, it's "parking wars" and it's back.

"I said, 'Oh, oh, oh, lots of people getting $65 today,'" said Bob Culver of the Upper East Side.

Drivers allege the change came with little notice from the city, and has left many scrambling.

"I don't think they did a proper job notifying people. I only found out about it last night at 11 p.m. on the news," said Susie Retblatt, also of the Upper East Side.

On Tuesday, the parking shuffle returned to its pre-pandemic schedule so that street sweepers could come clean more.

"There's definitely more rats on the streets," one driver said.

Instead of once a week, now you have to move your car at least twice a week, depending on the spot.

Department of Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch said it's time for its full return.

"Our mechanical brooms are the best street-cleaning tool that we have in our arsenal, and we need to get them back out there and full effect," Tisch said.

That means the signs the city never fixed are right again, but most drivers Dias spoke with said it's the wrong move, adding street sweepers hardly come and drivers just waste gas.

"Half the time people just sit in their car and use gas, and have the AC on and pollute," one driver said.

Alternate side parking returns to pre-pandemic rules 02:39

Dias was out on East 81st Street from 9 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., and, like the sign says, saw plenty of drivers parked in their cars, but not one street sweeper came.

However, Dias did see a parking enforcement officer handing out dozens of tickets, which is why some think the city is just looking to cash in, get money it has been going without.

"It is ridiculous. This is just another way to tax people and hand out tickets," Upper East Side driver Arthur Adams said.

Adams said it also comes with lots of frustrations, and people stealing others' parking spots.

"I see a lot of fighting," he said. "If they do bring the street cleaner over and people do have to move over, then sometimes people get boxed out and lose their spot, and then other people would follow the street cleaner and just pull in."

And sometimes when the street sweepers do come, drivers say they do nothing.

"Last time they came, they drove straight down the center of the street and didn't even come over to the side, so nobody moved. They just plowed through the center, so nothing was getting cleaned," one driver said.

Others said the only thing getting cleaned is the money out of their wallets.

CBS2 reached out to the Department of Sanitation about the complaints. A a spokesperson said, "Alternate side parking is a necessary program for getting our streets clean -- and everyone, whether they own a car or not, has to do their part."

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