Did you know that ATMs are officially not permitted on sidewalks? Nevertheless, that hasn't stopped them from multiplying like bunny rabbits across the city, particularly in the Lower East Side. But the City Council has decided to snuff out this mechanical plague in the least aggressive way imaginable, before it makes all our lives too convenient: yesterday, they unanimously passed a bill to increase the fines on property owners who allow cash machines to be placed on sidewalks outside their property.
"They're seedy, they're dirtying streets, they're blocking all types of egress on streets," council Speaker Christine Quinn said of the ATMs. And hark, the fair councilwoman dost not speak in jest about the graffiti-laden machines; even though they're unlawful on sidewalks, the rules are difficult to enforce under current city statutes according to the Post. The new bill gives landlords, who collect fees from the ATM owners, 30 days to remove the machines, or they will face fines of up to $5,000 a week. The city will seize the ATMs if fines reach $50,000.
We imagine that Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who hates ATMs as much as he hates bedbugs, must be very happy about these developments. So we should all appreciate these living relics while we can, for it is only a matter of time before they all get proverbially dumped in the East River.