Thursday, March 13, 2008

Residential parking permit proposal moves forward, as Bloomberg cites "arenas"

Yesterday, Mayor Mike Bloomberg and DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan proposed a residential parking permit program (RPP) as part of congestion pricing legislation. Many neighborhood groups around the Atlantic Yards footprint believe it a crucial measure to prevent arena-goers from cruising around their neighborhood for free spaces.

If the legislation passes, residents would petition a Community Board, which then must hold a public meeting. Assuming the board approves it, the plan would then go to the Borough President and the local City Council member for approval.

The RPP program, Streetsblog reported, will specifically be aimed at discouraging park-and-ride activity and to help residents secure parking in "neighborhoods that face pressure from large facilities like sports arenas," Bloomberg said.

(Coverage in the Times, the Daily News, the Sun missed the arena angle, but the Brooklyn Daily Eagle included it. The Post, as far as I can tell, didn't cover the story, though it offered saturation coverage of the Spitzer scandal.)

Joining Bloomberg and Sadik-Khan (left) for the announcement in Boerum Hill were City Council Member David Yassky and Boerum Hill Association President Sue Wolfe, both of whom have made the issue a priority.

(Photo from Streetsblog.)

Fidler vs. Prospect Heights

The mayor offhandedly mentioned a $10 fee for the permits; Streetsblog's Aaron Naparstek suggested personally that "the cost of RPP's should be more in line with market rates for parking and should account for the value of public space that could be put to other uses aside from car storage." (The Times said it could be $10 to $30.)

In the comments section on Streetsblog, City Council Member Lew Fidler expressed his opposition: "I poke my head in, only poke, because I hate the new tax to park in front of my house even more than I dislike CP [congestion pricing]."

Responded Prospect Heights resident Danae Oratowski:
"If you can think of another way to discourage drivers who are going to the Nets arena from cruising around the neighborhood - just in case they can find a free parking space - I'm all ears.

You supported Atlantic Yards. Now you need to help find a solution to the traffic problems brought on when you site a 19,000 seat venue in a low rise residential neighborhood."

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