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Queens electeds introduce legislation that would crack down on auto dealers parking cars on city streets

Jun. 15, 2023 By Ethan Marshall

Queens City Council members Sandra Ung and Francisco Moya have introduced legislation that seeks to make it illegal for car dealerships to park vehicles on public streets under certain circumstances. These dealerships wouldn’t be allowed to park the car on the street to advertise their sale or while the car is awaiting repair or pickup from its owner.

In addition to making it illegal for car dealerships to park vehicles on city streets for advertising the vehicle or to await repair or pickup, the proposed legislation would also prohibit them from repairing cars on the streets.

“Parking spots on public streets are not intended to be used as storage to benefit for-profit car dealers,” Ung said. “We know that parking is at a premium in neighborhoods across New York City. The public parking we do have is meant to be used by city residents, not as overflow space for car dealership to make repairs or advertise their cars to prospective buyers.”

This proposed legislation comes in the wake of Ung and Moya receiving numerous complaints from their constituents about dealerships in the area parking cars in the city streets. Some constituents have even accused certain dealers of curbstoning, which is when the dealer poses as a private owner in order to park a car on a city street to advertise it being for sale.

“In a city where parking is already an issue, it is unfair for car dealers to take all neighborhood street parking spaces and turn them into parking lots,” Moya said. “This bill will prevent these businesses from taking residential area spots that are meant for our neighbors.”

Under the council members’ proposed legislation, dealers would be required to display in the car a placard that is visible through the front windshield. The placard would include the name, address, license number and contact information of the dealer. Each day that a vehicle is illegally parked on a city street would be a separate violation.

Per the guidelines created by the city agency tasked with enforcing the law, illegally parked cars can be impounded. A vehicle will not be released until both the towing and storage fees are paid. If the vehicle’s owner pays to have the car released, they have the legal right to recoup the money from the dealer who was in possession of the car.

As is the case with most of New York City, parking space on city streets is often at a premium within the districts of Ung and Moya. They feel the passage of this legislation can help to create more room for people to park their vehicles across the entirety of the city.

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