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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release #06-44

Contact: Kay Sarlin (212) 442-7033
Chris Gilbride

DOT Activates Credit Card Friendly Muni-Meters to Address Congestion On Canal Street In Chinatown

New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Iris Weinshall today announced that the 24 credit card friendly muni-meters , installed last week to address congestion on Chinatown's Canal Street, were activated over the weekend. The new muni-meters govern roughly 180 parking spaces between West Broadway and Bowery Street and are equipped to accept cash, as well as payments made with personal credit cards and the New York City Parking Card .

"Chinatown's renaissance has put a strain on the existing roadway network and DOT and our regional transportation partners are committed to addressing congestion in the neighborhood," said Commissioner Weinshall. "These credit card friendly muni-meters have been a huge success in other parts of the City and we're excited to be able to bring this parking innovation to Chinatown."

"On behalf of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation and the Chinese community I want to express my thanks to Iris Weinshall and her department for the speedy installation of new meters on Canal Street and Division Street," said David Louie, President of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation. "I know these changes will be beneficial to the Chinatown economy because now more people will be able to find parking to do their business."

The meters, which are reserved primarily for commercial parking during the daytime hours, have a 3-hour time limit and rates that increase each hour, encouraging drivers to make their deliveries as quickly as possible and reducing the incidence of congestion causing double parking. The rate for commercial vehicles is $2 for the first hour, $5 for the second hour and $9 for the third hour. During hours when non-commercial vehicles are permitted to park at the meters the rate is $2 per hour for a maximum of 5 hours. The paid non-commercial parking will benefit local businesses by encouraging turnover and providing more short term parking opportunities for patrons.

To accommodate the new meters and expand commercial parking on Canal Street, some parking regulations have also been changed. The new parking regulations for Canal Street are provided below:

The installation of the Canal Street muni-meters brings the City's total to 1,998, including 524 muni-meters that accept credit card payments. Muni-meters have been shown to increase parking by as much as 15% because drivers do not have to park directly in front of the parking meter. In 2005, DOT upgraded 200 muni-meters in Manhattan's Theater District to accept credit card payments and during a six-month pilot study the agency found that 20% of all payments made at the credit card capable muni-meters were made with credit cards.

This year, DOT plans to upgrade 327 additional meters to accept credit card payments in Queens, Forrest Hills Brooklyn and Manhattan's Upper West Side brining the Citywide total to 851.

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