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Parking permitted! Council panel approves ‘pay-to-park’ plan for Barclays neighbors

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A City Council committee approved a controversial plan on Wednesday to sell parking permits to neighbors of the Barclays Center arena, despite objections from southern Brooklyn lawmakers who say that charging for residential street parking amounts to a tax for something that has always been free.

The Council’s State and Federal Legislation Committee approved a measure that supporters say will prevent basketball fans and other arena-goers from hogging parking spaces in neighborhoods around a 19,000-seat arena that will have parking spaces for just 1,100 cars.

“Right now it’s almost impossible to park” near the under-construction arena, said District Leader Jo Anne Simon (D–Boerum Hill). “We want to make sure our neighborhoods are not overrun [after the arena opens].”

Under the proposal — which is being pushed by state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D–Brooklyn Heights) and Assemblywoman Joan Millman (D–Cobble Hill), but first requires a Council “home rule” resolution — residents would have the option of buying the permits for a yet-to-be determined fee. They wouldn’t be guaranteed a spot, but roughly eight out of every 10 spaces on residential streets near the arena would be reserved for permit holders.

Other neighborhoods would be allowed to opt into the citywide program. Neighborhoods such as Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope have supported residential parking permits as a shield against commuters from southern Brooklyn and elsewhere who park in their neighborhoods and then take mass transit into Manhattan.

Supporters believe that a permit system will also reduce the long-term impact of traffic congestion around the Atlantic Yards mega-project, which is slated to include 6,430 apartments on a 22-acre site that stretches from Flatbush Avenue to Vanderbilt Avenue.

Similar programs have been adopted in Boston, Washington D.C. and Chicago, where residents around Wrigley Field pay $25 annually for “reasonable access to parking” near the baseball stadium known to fans as the Friendly Confines.

Citing the success of those programs, Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope) called a permit plan “the one piece of public policy that can make a difference” on Atlantic Yards traffic.

City transportation officials oppose a citywide permit plan, but have agreed to study the areas around the Barclays Center and Yankee Stadium because of the residential nature of the neighborhoods.

Meanwhile, lawmakers in southern Brooklyn, where car ownership is far more widespread, lambasted the plan as a tax on drivers, who have always enjoyed free on-street parking.

“The idea that someone would have to pay to park in front of their own home is ludicrous,” said state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge). “This is nothing more than another tax on our communities.”

The plan was criticized along similar lines by Councilman Lew Fidler (D–Marine Park), who lobbied unsuccessfully to postpone Wednesday’s vote. The home rule resolution is now expected to be approved by the full Council in the coming weeks, freeing state lawmakers to take up the proposal early next year.

Residential parking permits were shelved in 2008 after Mayor Bloomberg’s broader congestion pricing legislation failed in Albany.

Golden promised that the latest effort would also never make it through the Republican-controlled Senate. But Squadron said there’s more support for the measure this time around, thanks to provisions that allow neighborhoods and individuals to opt out of participating.

“This is not going to be implemented in neighborhoods that don’t want it,” Squadron said.

Residents who live near the Barclays Center said they would buy into the program — if it’s not too expensive.

“Between $50 and $200 is reasonable,” said Wayne Bailey, a car owner who lives on Pacific Street between Carlton and Sixth avenues. “The arena isn’t even open and parking is already total chaos.”

Reach reporter Daniel Bush at dbush@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8310.

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Reader Feedback

frank from furter says:
Ok for southern Brooklyn lets remove the restriction that bans on street parking in Manhattan beach from May to November. When Kings Plaza was opened, the DOT reconfigured the streets so its hard to use them for parking for Kings Plaza lets reverse those too.....
Nov. 3, 2011, 2:57 am
common sense from bay ridge says:
@hotdog: You are not wanted in Manhattan Beach from May until November, at any price.
Nov. 3, 2011, 8:31 am
ty from pps says:
"8 out of 10 spaces per block" -- Really? It's not just going to be a simple solution... there's going to be some weirdly complex signage that allows for non-residents to park in a couple spots on *each* block?! Uggh.

Why can't the city council just make *normal* decisions?!
Nov. 3, 2011, 8:33 am
Dennis from Inwood says:
This should only be a temporary thing until proper facilities are built.
Nov. 3, 2011, 9:03 am
Chris from Bushwick says:
Dennis: What "proper facilities?" More streets? A taxpayer-supported parking garage like the boondoggle at Yankee Stadium? Heck no.
Nov. 3, 2011, 9:51 am
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
You can have the stickers you want. If you clear spaces than all the cops and fireman with placards will use them. Thats what happened in lower Manhattan. Street of "No Standing" except for the privileged
Nov. 3, 2011, 10:10 am
S from PPW says:
Good! Make all of the people with out of town plates register their cars in New York state. I'm tired of these freeloaders not paying registration fees to the state and getting free parking out of it.

I'll gladly pay every year if it means fewer people gaming the system.
Nov. 3, 2011, 10:33 am
Frank from Furter says:
The PD has a special enforcement squad for downtown manhattan that has TOWED and ticket as well as brought departmental charges against illegal placard parkers....
ask the CPT who had HIS car towed....
Nov. 3, 2011, 10:35 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Parking has never been free. We've all paid for it. It's just the beneficiaries of the parking took all the benefits.
Nov. 3, 2011, 11:11 am
frank from WT says:
this will just put pressure on the other neighborhoods as people will park there for free instead and then take a train one stop in order to get to the arena
Nov. 3, 2011, 11:47 am
S from PPW says:
frank, then those neighborhood will be free to opt-in to the RPP if that happens. Eventually, this will spread throughout the whole city. A good thing, in my mind, if it cuts down on people not registering their cars in NYS.

And I agree with Mike. It's time to start charging for on-street parking. It's the biggest subsidy this city gives out.
Nov. 3, 2011, 11:55 am
Sid from Boerum Hill says:
Its always nice to hear from people who already have access to special permits. Newspapers can get special permits, although I understand that its Brooklyn Paper's policy not to access them.
That's right push the middle class further out of the city. Almost every major city has a form of residential parking permits. Is it perfect? of course not but your non-solution will add 6000 cars 200 days a year to an already burdened downtown area.
Even with zip car you still need to park somewhere.
In fact this will open more spaces for businesses as parking in the area for all day parker's becomes more scarce.

(this is a corrected version)
Nov. 3, 2011, 12:07 pm
Judahspechal from Bedstuy says:
How many jobs does this bring? How many term limit violators voted for this dumb bill?
Nov. 3, 2011, 12:22 pm
Joe Blow from Bay Ridge says:
We need more spaces also. Shorten the length of most bus stops, which buses typically don't use anyway (they simply don't pull over into the bus stop when picking up or discharging passengers). Install back in angle parking wherever possible. Examples are 86th Street in Bay Ridge between Shore Road and Ft. Hamilton Parkway; and 4th Avenue in Bay Ridge between Shore Road and 65th Street. Several hundred spots could be added in one fell swoop, and we clould slow traffic as well (an added benefit since the 68th Prec. refuses to enforce any moving violations). Also, its is time to revisit Marty Golden's proposal to turn 3rd and 5th Avenues in Bay Rdige into one way streets, with back in angle parking to add parking spots and to help slow traffic. Golden was right about that.
Nov. 3, 2011, 12:57 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
I walk by empty cars every day and people aren't even USING them. They're just sitting on public property taking up space. I hope the parking fee is really high.

Joe Blow, your idea is ridiculous. Why would you take space away from buses, which serve dozens of people, to give to en empty car, which most of the time is serving 0? Transportation changes should be made with the goal of moving people around, not moving cars around.
Nov. 3, 2011, 1:19 pm
D from Crown Heights says:
Sid,

You're confusing the middle class with the upper middle class. Us middle class people can't afford cars. We take the train, and sometimes the bus, car service, or a bicycle.
Nov. 3, 2011, 1:22 pm
S from Bklyn says:
We can't win the war on parking by adding more of it. There isn't enough space. NYC is going to add a million more people by 2030 and not even a fraction of them can realistically expect to find free on-street parking. It's long past time we started charging for the rare commodity of parking. We need to stop giving away this public space for free simply to allow a person to store his private property for days and weeks on end.

It's simple math. If I live on a street with apartment buildings that are as wide as two parking spaces, but that are tall enough to contain four, six, eight, or even a few dozen apartments inside, there's no way every person on my block can expect to find an an on-street space.

We need to do more to discourage car ownership and ought to start charging people for using something that provides zero public good.

It's called the free market. Time to start applying it to parking spaces, too.
Nov. 3, 2011, 1:24 pm
Pi--ed in PSlope from Park Slope says:
It's a tax on the 99%

I'm in favor of letting the Stadium people park wherever they want - prove what a TERRIBLE idea this useless stadium was in the first place. Better yet, open up the green bike lane on Prospect Park West for Stadium parking. Then you would really hear screams.
Nov. 3, 2011, 2:38 pm
ChickenUnderwear from Park Slope says:
It is a chance for the 99% to find a spot. It can take me half an hour to find a spot at 3pm, anywhere near my home. Let everyone how is shopping of visiting Methodist find a meter of park in a lot.

This would be great.
Nov. 3, 2011, 2:48 pm
SG from Wbrg says:
I agree with the poster that mentioned back angle parking. I am originally from Milan, Italy. Parking was not easy there too. The streets are narrower and cars park a lot closer one to another, less bumper to bumper space.

But 90 or 60 degree angle parking is a lot more widespread.

There are plenty of roads in Brooklyn where that would be possible.

It would also be safer for byciclists as it reduces the risk of being doored.

SOomany roads in Brooklyn are too wide for just one lane of traffic but not wide enough for 2 lanes. Back angle parking would create so many benefits for many.
Nov. 3, 2011, 4:33 pm
SG from Wbrg says:
I forgot to mention that you could probably double the available parking with back angle parking.
Nov. 3, 2011, 4:34 pm
adamben from bedstuy says:
Take church parking, except for Sundays; that should add quite a bit. Also, this is a city so not everyone can live in a high density area and have a car; doesn't work anywhere on this planet; get a zip car.

Lastly, Barclays should build a parking deck for residents or pay the resident parking permit fee; they're creating a problem so they should fix it; darn 1%ers!
Nov. 3, 2011, 4:59 pm
common sense from bay ridge says:
@sg: Anything that adds FREE parking will be protested by bike nazis looking for a back door way of ridding NYC of cars. It's a great idea though.
Nov. 3, 2011, 5:35 pm
Keynes from Bklyn says:
Amazing how many staunch conservatives who decry liberal hipsters on their bikes are more than willing to take the free government handout that is on-street parking.

Nothing like socialist parking policies to really make people go crazy!
Nov. 3, 2011, 9:32 pm
Anthony from Park Slope says:
How far south will the RPP boundary go?
Nov. 4, 2011, 9:25 am
S from PPW says:
Anthony, every Community Board will get to decide if it wants RPP. There's actually nothing stopping it from spreading across the whole city, provided local CBs approve it.
Nov. 4, 2011, 9:49 am
Joe Blow from Bay Ridge says:
To Mike from Williamsburg,

I'm just recognizing reality with respect to bus stops: a) buses seldom actually pull into the bus stop, and b) most of the stops are huge, much bigger than necessary, assuming the bus drivers bothered to pull into the bus stop to begin with. Also, as to you comment that parked cars aren't being "used", that's just crazy. Do you expect people to operate cars 24 hours a day? The real issue is that NYC does not maximize the use of existing space for parking. Back in angle parking will add large numbers of spaces and serve to slow traffic as a traffic calming device.
Nov. 4, 2011, 10:17 am
S from PPW says:
Bus stops are frequently used as double parking and loading zones for drivers, even though it's against the law for them to park there. Make the bus stops smaller and you'll make it even more difficult for bus drivers to reach the curb to serve their customers.

No one expects people to operate cars 24 hours a day, just as no one expects people to be in their apartments and homes 24 hours a day. But most New Yorkers have to pay for the real estate they use, even when they are not in it.

The real issue is that parking spaces are the only free real estate in a city of very limited real estate. I don't care if someone naps or reads in their car all day, but if they are going to store private property on public space, they ought to pay for the privilege or at least register their car to NYS and pay fees to the state and city that's giving them this free street space.

We don't need back in angle parking. It's already against the law for drivers to back up an excessive distance down one-way streets. Back up parking will only create more danger for pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers. The last thing we need is more drivers trying to see around their blind spots as they pilot their vehicles in reverse.
Nov. 4, 2011, 10:43 am
Joe Blow from Bay Ridge says:
At S from PPW.

There's a lot of nonsense on this board. Hundreds of towns and cities have back in angle parking, with no decrease in safety. In fact, it forces drivers to slow down. And if you think most NYC Transit buses pull over to the curb, you haven't taken public transportation lately (say, in the last decade).

As for paying for real estate that the public uses, I don't recall having to pay a fee for walking down the sidewalk, or sitting on a park bench (even for hours). Are you advocating a fee for walking on the sidewalk, or spending time in a public park? Your suggestion that "parking spaces are the only free real estate" in NYC is ridiculous. Public sidewalks, roads, parks and public transit are essential for the free movement of people in a city. Parking spaces are no different. The truth is that no public service is free. We pay taxes to provide for these services (well, i know that I pay those taxes, I won't speak for you).

That said, I don't oppose a permit parking plan, so long as the money collected from the permit sales is dedicated to street repair and sensible plans to increase the number of parking spots. A permit parking scheme could serve to make life a lot easier for many NYers.

Finally, you do have to pay to register a car in NYS. And its not cheap.
Nov. 4, 2011, 12:56 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
It's not that I expect cars to operate 24 hours a day, though taxis do it and Zip Cars almost do it. If you're not going to operate your car 24 hours a day, I think it is absolutely absurd to think you have the right to just leave it on public property for free until you feel like using it again.
Nov. 4, 2011, 1:03 pm
common sense from bay ridge says:
NYC collects over $900 a year in parking tickets, and the streets resemble the surface of the moon. I'm sure the revenue collected from permit parking will disappear down a sinkhole like so much other money stolen in this corrupt to the core city. Yet so many people are just aching to let them steal more.
Nov. 4, 2011, 1:25 pm
common sense from bay ridge says:
$900 million in parking tickets...
Nov. 4, 2011, 1:25 pm
S from PPW says:
Parks, sidewalks, and benches can be used by multiple people over the course of any particular moment in time. They provide a social benefit to the city and its residents even when a particular individual -- your or me, for example -- isn't using them. That is, I may not be at Prospect Park right now, but it's likely being enjoyed by many many people. The sidewalk in front of my building benefits hundreds and hundreds of people who walk on it every day. But those parking spaces in front of my building? It's only benefiting a few people who don't want to pay for parking.

Bus stops have a social benefit and in the space that could only store two to three cars, as many as 40 or 50 people can get on and off a bus every 10 - 20 minutes. Leaving spaces open for loading zones benefits dozens of local businesses so they can receive deliveries. They benefit apartment dwellers who can have the UPS guy pull up somewhere safe on their block. Plus, they benefit drivers, who don't get stuck behind double-parked trucks on the street.

Parking spaces provide zero social benefit. They benefit only the person who is using it, often for days or weeks on end, depending on the alternate side parking schedule. Your ability to park your car on a public street and leave it there, unused, is benefiting no one but yourself. If we want parking spaces to have the same social benefits as other spaces in the city, then we should start prioritizing who gets this limited commodity.

I'm not saying don't own a car. Lots of people need one for lots of reasons or for no apparent reason. It's not up to the government to say you can't have one. But the city can say that certain services are free and certain services are not. I own a car and park it on the street. But if the city suddenly came to me and said that I need to buy a parking permit for $15 or even $150 a year, I'd consider it a bargain.

I'm not sure I understand how angled parking would slow down drivers. Are you saying that people are speeding now because of all the parallel parking or that we'd all be safer if a bunch of people were suddenly backing out of parking spots as cars came down the street right toward them?
Nov. 4, 2011, 4:06 pm
S from PPW says:
also, i pay taxes. in fact, my taxes are going to pay for your parking space. my neighbor, who does not own a car is also doing his part to give you and me free parking.
Nov. 4, 2011, 4:07 pm

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