Thursday, March 13, 2008

Residential Park Permit Plan Details

Mayor Bloomberg and Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced a Residential Parking Permit proposal yesterday. They held a press conference in Boerum Hill that ended up taking place at the same time as Gov. Spitzer's resignation speech. They used it to announce a new residential parking permit plan that will be part of congestion pricing legislation. Measures would be introduced in the City Council and State Legislature. The program would be an "opt in," meaning that neighborhoods and Community Boards can decide to join and set their own regulations and zone boundaries. Streets Blog quotes the DOT Commissioner as saying: "Community Boards will make the determinations and balance the various interests to form the most reasonable plan."

The city's press release said that residents would be able to "petition" for parking zones starting this fall. Community Boards would have to vote to approve a zone and it would have to be okayed by a District's Council Member and the Borough President.

The goal is to prevent some neighborhoods from becoming parking lots for commuters. Neighborhoods could ban non-resident parking during commute times or limit it to 90 minutes during certain periods. There are full details over at Streets Blog.

GL Analysis
Like congestion pricing itself, there is likely to be a range of intense opinions on the change, both for and against. What is odd is that unlike cities that have long had resident parking programs there doesn't seem to be any citywide, or even boroughwide, uniformity to the possible outcome. What is immediately interesting--and possibly problematic about the proposal--is that it could leave the city with an insane patchwork of parking regulations that makes today's confusing thicket of signs and parking ticket crapshoots look like the good old days of order and sanity. The approval process itself will lead to intense lobbying and political jockeying to either secure permits for individual neighborhoods or to try to have a move killed. Frankly, we're not sure that a neighborhood-by-neighborhood approach is sound, although to some extent individual neighborhoods here and there already have their own de facto parking policies. If resident parking permits are to become policy, it would seem that large zones with uniform regulations (as per the Washington, DC model) are in order, rather than, say, a non-resident parking ban on the Southside of Williamsburg from 7AM-9:30AM and a 90-minute non-resident limit in Park Slope from 6AM-6PM.

[Photo courtesy of Streets Blog]

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Blogger J$ said...

it's so hard to park in some of these neighborhoods already, i don't see many non-residents driving in from further away, spending 10-20 minutes looking for parking, then having to walk to the subway... how much time is really saved?

7:53 PM  

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