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City blitzes Williamsburg shops for ATM violations

for The Brooklyn Paper
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For nearly a dozen Williamsburg business owners this week, cash machines stopped dispensing money and started swiping it.

On Wednesday morning, store owners on Bedford Avenue between N. Fifth and N. Eighth streets were stunned to receive $100 tickets from the Department of Sanitation because their sidewalk ATMs were allegedly more than three feet from the building.

“I’ve had these ATMs for six years,” said Mike Kurani, manager of Bedford Magazine and Smoke. “The city never bothered me about them before.”

He and others disputed the Sanitation inspector’s measurements, saying that the ATMs were within the three-foot limit and were not blocking the sidewalk.

“How can they say it was three feet if it wasn’t?” asked Samir Youssef, who owns 13 cash machines outside stores between N. Fourth and N. Eighth streets — nine of which received tickets. “They came for the tickets, not the law.”

Youssef plans to fight the charges, though he added that he and the store owners, who get a percentage of the ATM fees, will likely split the fine if the fight is unsuccessful.

Not everyone will fight the tickets, which require a hearing before the city-run Environmental Control Board, not an independent judge.

“If we have to go to board, we lose a day of work,” said Charlie Bournis, who owns Office 11211 between N. Sixth and N. Seventh streets. “If you have a small business, it’s impossible to leave it unattended to go to court all day.

“The city,” he added, “should stop using us as their ATM machines.”

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Reasonable discourse

jack russo from CG says:
they deserve the tickets! why should a deli be about to store these crappy atms (and probably get paid as well)
on a city sidewalk? if you really want your customers to have atm access put them in your store!
they're a gross eyesore on city sidewalks.
Oct. 22, 2010, 9:25 am
Wendy from Greenpoint says:
Agreed! If you walk from the L at Bedford to N. 5, there are 12 ATMS. In 1 block - 12 ATMS!
Is that really necessary?
I only use ATM's at banks now after my card was use fraudulently 3 separate times from using these sorts of ATMS... I'd recommend everyone else do the same. They are scams.
Oct. 22, 2010, 11:13 am
bigP from your moms house says:
I agree they suck! But at least warn them and then give them a chance to move them.. don't wait 6 years then show up to write a ticket.
Oct. 22, 2010, 12:13 pm
guywhoknows from willtB says:
The local Council Member Diana Reyna sponsered Legislation to regulate these ATM's. Can't wait for the law to pass.....these ATMs are ugly and dangerous.
Oct. 22, 2010, 1 pm
Rob from Greenpoint says:
Bad idea using these ATM's, do so at your own risk!
Bank units are much safer.
Oct. 22, 2010, 1:16 pm
Lana from Williamsburg says:
The city is just out to get money from anyplace they can, even if they have to do it illegally and hurt the small guys. It's so hypocritical of the city to claim a sidewalk as theirs for the purposes of giving out tickets but if someone falls and gets hurts on the same sidewalk in from of a store it's now the store owners responsibility and liability! I live in this neighborhood and these ATM machines are very convenient and should stay where they are.
Oct. 22, 2010, 11:41 pm
Lana from Williamsburg says:
The city is just out to get money from anyplace they can, even if they have to do it illegally and hurt the small guys. It's so hypocritical of the city to claim a sidewalk as theirs for the purposes of giving out tickets but if someone falls and gets hurts on the same sidewalk in from of a store it's now the store owners responsibility and liability! I live in this neighborhood and these ATM machines are very convenient and should stay where they are.
Oct. 22, 2010, 11:41 pm
Mano from Williamsburg says:
It is an interesting, little fact that an entire portion that might have been in this irrelevant article about ATM fines in a three block radius of Williamsburg was either cut or not included entirely. I'm a bar owner on Bedford with an ATM plopped provocatively to one side and I did not get a ticket that day. Why? one might ask. Because the issue I addressed to the sanitation officials and the "journalist" who fielded this story did not concern boring ATM technicalities (or that major banks are just dying to move into that area and don't need the pitiful ATM competition), but the systematic and continuous harassment by city officials in their vulgar quest to bilk every last cent out of hard-working plebians (be they store owners, street vendors or simple humans). I myself had a day before this blitz received a $200 ticket for picking up litter on Bedford and kindly discarding it into a public trashcan ( all whilst carrying my two year old daughter in my arms). The offending officer eventually apologized for issuing the ticket being unable to cite a single common sense reason for his act. His excuse: the litter I disposed of did not appear to be public refuse. Ah! So, if we are to keep our streets clean, free of reprisals then we should carry DNA tests that enable us to differentiate public trash from private. So, when I voiced my outrage at the sanitation department issuing me a second nonsensical ticket within a twenty four hour period they attempted to stifle my very vocal protests by not giving me the ticket they were shoving down everyone's throats. I demanded I get a ticket too -it was politely withheld. Now, don't get me wrong this is not headline news, but then again considering what the post ran today as headliners maybe it should be; I did think though that perhaps the human interest angle might have been at least mentioned in the above article. Or, for that matter the journalist might of listed the abuses committed with the same absurd impunity by the departments of health, traffic (the great offenders of decency and common sense) taxation, buildings and consumer affairs. I gave my name to this journalist and that of my store -even that of my two year old. Sadly it seems it is more interesting to commit to print articles that stand as referendum on ATMs rather than pieces on city harassment and intimidation that eventually will reach and effect everyone regardless of profession, location or ATM placement.
Oct. 23, 2010, 11:03 am
Mano from Williamsburg says:
It is an interesting, little fact that an entire portion that might have been in this irrelevant article about ATM fines in a three block radius of Williamsburg was either cut or not included entirely. I'm a bar owner on Bedford with an ATM plopped provocatively to one side and I did not get a ticket that day. Why? one might ask. Because the issue I addressed to the sanitation officials and the "journalist" who fielded this story did not concern boring ATM technicalities (or that major banks are just dying to move into that area and don't need the pitiful ATM competition), but the systematic and continuous harassment by city officials in their vulgar quest to bilk every last cent out of hard-working plebians (be they store owners, street vendors or simple humans). I myself had a day before this blitz received a $200 ticket for picking up litter on Bedford and kindly discarding it into a public trashcan ( all whilst carrying my two year old daughter in my arms). The offending officer eventually apologized for issuing the ticket being unable to cite a single common sense reason for his act. His excuse: the litter I disposed of did not appear to be public refuse. Ah! So, if we are to keep our streets clean, free of reprisals then we should carry DNA tests that enable us to differentiate public trash from private. So, when I voiced my outrage at the sanitation department issuing me a second nonsensical ticket within a twenty four hour period they attempted to stifle my very vocal protests by not giving me the ticket they were shoving down everyone's throats. I demanded I get a ticket too -it was politely withheld. Now, don't get me wrong this is not headline news, but then again considering what the post ran today as headliners maybe it should be; I did think though that perhaps the human interest angle might have been at least mentioned in the above article. Or, for that matter the journalist might of listed the abuses committed with the same absurd impunity by the departments of health, traffic (the great offenders of decency and common sense) taxation, buildings and consumer affairs. I gave my name to this journalist and that of my store -even that of my two year old. Sadly it seems it is more interesting to commit to print articles that stand as referendum on ATMs rather than pieces on city harassment and intimidation that eventually will reach and effect everyone regardless of profession, location or ATM placement.
Oct. 23, 2010, 11:03 am
Stoney from Cobble Hill says:
tl;dr
Oct. 25, 2010, 7:02 pm
Ralph from Williamsburg says:
If there weren't a genuine demand for these machines there would not be "12 in 1 block". These machines provide a necessary revenue stream in time of rising unemployment and economic stagnation. The claim that these machine are less secure than bank machines is baseless, made by people who probably have no background in Electronic Funds Transfer security systems. The City of New York is doing what they do best, squeezing every last penny from whomever they can.
Oct. 27, 2010, 10:12 am
Bernard from Greenpoint says:
Sidewalk ATM are an eyesore.

They're an obstruction.

AND they are ILLEGAL.

You got fined? Deal with it.
Oct. 29, 2010, 12:57 am
Denny from bay ridge says:
I received a ticket for an ATM i have outside my business and its for "Obstruction of the sidewalk"-Now why did they not give me a ticket for my fruit display or my vending machine in which sticks out more then the ATM. They must have some other reason for wanted the ATMs off the street but cant find any legal way of doing that. This city is turning into crap and im really considering leaving.
Nov. 19, 2010, 8:08 pm

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