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How to find hidden parking spots in your neighborhood

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BOROUGH PARK (PIX11) — If you drive a car in New York then you know sometimes parking can be pretty rough.  But what if there were a few extra spots in your neighborhood.

Well as it turns out there might be.

When you get home from a long day at work, the last thing New Yorkers want to do is circle the block to find a parking spot.

“It can be a bit of a nightmare in the evenings,” said Stephen Jordan of Borough Park.

And in some neighborhoods, finding a legal place to park can take quite a while.

“An hour to two hours,” said Brenda Horton of Park Slope.

But as it turns out, even in neighborhoods where parking is at a premium, there may be a few more spots than you think.

Councilman David Greenfield is a driver and arguably the biggest advocate for easing parking restrictions in the city.

Greenfield has proposed reducing the required distance between cars and fire hydrants, letting pregnant women park for free, even eliminating alternate side altogether.

And recently he’s helped people in his district recover several spots that were only considered illegal because of outdated Department of Transportation signs.

“There are many times when you’ll see a sign will just pop up out of nowhere, or you’ll see a sign that’s no longer relevant, or in some cases you’ll have meters that shouldn’t be there any more,” he said.

He couldn’t put an exact number on how many spots are taken by outdated signs, meters, and hydrants, but Greenfield says there are plenty of them scattered throughout the city.

If you think there’s one in your neighborhood he says you should call your local council member.

It may take about six months to get fixed, but he says it’s better than calling 311.

“The problem is a lot of times people look at it and say, ‘well there’s nothing I can do’.  You know maybe you can’t do anything but you’ve elected someone who can: your council member.  You should call them, most of the time they will be able to help,” Greenfield said.

“And drivers in several Brooklyn neighborhoods say even if it’s just one more spot around their homes where they can park, they say knowing that they won’t get ticketed is priceless.”

“Especially when I have my kids full, my kids in the car, and I’ve got to unload them and unload groceries and then I have to come back and park my car it’s brutal.”

But Greenfield reminds drivers that even if the sign is mistaken, you still can’t park there until it’s removed.

“The most frustrating thing is when you drive by and you see a sign that’s outdated or a pump that’s broken and you say, ‘Hey, I really should be able to park there, but I can’t’ and as a result you have to keep driving blocks and blocks and blocks until you can find a parking space.”