June 26, 2007 (Montclair, NJ): Among the many issues that have arisen out of Mayor Bloomberg's Congestion Pricing plan (PlaNYC), NYC parking may be the most contentious. Neighborhoods such as Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights would be likely to receive residential parking permits under the Mayor's plan, which is a large part of the reason why these sections of Brooklyn are supporting PlaNYC. However, neighborhoods like Bay Ridge, Canarsie, Flatlands, Mill Basin, Bergen Beach, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Sheepshead Bay and Midwood would probably not receive residential parking permits for their residents. That coupled with insufficient mass transit alternatives in these areas has resulted in strong opposition among many of the residents in these and other outlying sections of the five boroughs.
The Future of the Parking Scene in Areas Bordering the Pricing Zone
Should the Bloomberg's Congestion Pricing plan pass as it stands and residential parking permits become the norm in neighborhoods bordering the pricing zone, there would be an outcry from other neighborhoods in the five boroughs looking for similar residential parking permits. The Mayor should look to Boston as an example. In Boston, many streets that have residential parking also allow visitor parking for 2 hours at a time during certain times/days. The residential parking permits also can have varying times/days that they are in effect to maximize both fairness and efficiency. These permits are not limited to areas bordering the busiest sections of Beantown but are evenly and fairly distributed throughout the City. According to Erik Feder, the NYC Parking Expert and creator of http://www.WhereToFindParking.com, "While some here predict fights and a sniper mentality if residential parking permits are allowed, this will not be the case. That won't be any more prevalent than it is now with the alternate side of the street parking regulations. People compete for those on a near daily basis without much resulting trouble. On top of that, it gives the City another reason to write expensive parking tickets, because you know that some people will park where they are not allowed."
The Future of the Manhattan Parking Scene
Although it is being suggested that Manhattan parking will be easier to find should PlaNYC become enacted, this is sadly not the case. It is true that some people will be deterred from driving into Manhattan and take mass transit (improving mass transit choices is a must for Bloomberg's plan to be effective). Even so, between Manhattan residents with cars, commercial vehicles and those who opt to drive in regardless of the price, Manhattan street parking will still be a commodity. Manhattan parking garages may be forced to lower their prices, but the ones who run good businesses will still turn a profit. Says Feder, "Right now in Manhattan, most times of the day there are 20% more drivers looking for a parking space than there actually are parking spots. Even if that gets reduced to a 10% overage of cars to parking spaces, most spots will still go to those who plan ahead and know the best and worst places to park in Manhattan."
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