Residents: ‘Trick’ parking sign duping residents into fines

Residents say an obstructed no-parking sign in Williamsburg is fooling drivers into hefty fines, tickets and towed vehicles.

James Coppola says the Meserole Street sign, which warns drivers not to park on the block, cost his neighbor around $1,000.

"I warn people every time I'm out here, don't park there -- it's a trick," Coppola says. "There's nowhere to park in the neighborhood."

Longtime neighbors say the sign dates back to a time when a company called Steelcraft used to own a building on the block. The signs protected parking space for its trucks. But the company is long gone, and the new residents say they have nowhere to park.

Stefano Giovannini, another neighbor, says the city should update the sign to reflect the neighborhood's new composition.

Giovannini says he wrote a letter to the Department of Transportation about a similar situation a few blocks away, on Leonard Street, and that officials admitted the sign there was obsolete. 

But the city still hasn't taken it down. The DOT says it is looking into the situation.

So residents are waiting for answers as they wait for parking spaces.

"They need to make a decision, whether they are going to regulate this street or just look for people they are going to ticket and tow," says Dr. Lena Sapozhnikoff, whose office is in the area. "That's completely unfair."

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