The residential parking permit debate: is parking a neighborhood right, or a scarce resource with a price tag?
Moreover, a permit costing a typical $100 per year would be too low:
Only a true market system would create enough revenue to make a parking permit system actually worthwhile while also serving the larger public policy goal: discouraging residents of Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, Carroll Gardens and Fort Greene — neighborhoods with the best subway service in Brooklyn — from owning cars in the first place.Other flaws cited include use of placards by uniformed services to "park anywhere with virtual impunity" and abuse by drivers lying about their addresses.
Now, in reaction to the Atlantic Yards project, City Council Member Letitia James wants such permits in Prospect Heights, so that residents claim streets ahead of arena-goers.
In a Brooklyn Paper column headlined Parking permits will help, James wrote:
I strongly believe that residential parking permits have the potential to reduce traffic congestion, pollution emissions, needless traffic accidents (especially those that lead to pedestrian fatalities), and noise pollution. This would especially be appreciated in Downtown as we face the long-term development of the Atlantic Yards project.Atlantic Yards opponent Patti Hagan, a 31-year Prospect Heights resident, responded with Tax Ratner for parking — not us!:
Taxpaying residents would have to pay yet another new tax — for the privilege of parking in their own hood? Why not keep outsider’s cars out instead? Or tax them?So she thinks Ratner should be taxed.
A residential parking permit tax seems unfair. Ratner is already causing major traffic problems for the car-driving citizenry, having this year deprived Brooklyn of: one lane and sidewalk of Flatbush Avenue, one lane and sidewalk of Atlantic Avenue, one block of Fifth Avenue (R.I.P.), one Carlton Avenue Bridge, and two blocks of Pacific Street — streets where parking and pedestrianism have been forever free.
I agree that the cost of Ratner's changes should be recognized, but I come out closer to those who recognize that parking is a resource, not a birthright.
In a letter to the Brooklyn Paper headlined ‘Asphalt blob?’, Rob Witherwax, second vice chairman of Community Board 8, commented:
The question is not one of “... having to pay to park by the controversial Atlantic Yards project site,” but one of having to pay to protect the privilege of parking near our homes, and not ceding our street space to occasional visitors. Sure, this is NIMBY-ism, but where else in this city can you find a major sports arena that is so close to low-rise, low-density residential neighborhoods, and yet so far from both sizable parking facilities and arterial highways?One commenter on James's piece stated:
A better solution would be a strategy that absolutely disincentivizes driving to the Barclays Center, by not providing any public or private parking facilities. The arena sits atop one of the busiest transit hubs in New York City, between two of the busiest avenues in Brooklyn.
All parking should be paid, whether through permits or otherwise. It makes absolutely no sense for vehicle owners to feel that they're entitled to store their personal property on public streets at public expense. Private use of public property has to be paid for.The parking lot
Fact is, there will be a massive surface parking lot on the southeast block of the Atlantic Yards site for construction workers, then accommodating 1100 cars for VIP and other game visitors.
And they will be walking on narrow Dean Street--what I call the Dean Street squeeze.