The B67 bus veers around a double-parked van blocking a car parked in front of a fire hydrant as a Bugaboo-pushing nanny strolls by Councilmember David Yassky and Transportation Alternatives director Paul Steely White calling for more sensible parking policy this afternoon in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Every drivers knows that it can be nearly impossible to find a legal parking space in the neighborhoods in and around Downtown Brooklyn but, until today, no one had ever tried to quantify the problem. No Vacancy (PDF download), a new study by Transportation Alternatives, finds that nearly half of all of the vehicles clogging the vital shopping avenues of Park Slope are occupied by drivers who are simply looking for a parking space. T.A.’s study, which riffs off the work of UCLA professor Donald Shoup, author of the acclaimed (and remarkably entertaining) High Cost of Free Parking, found that:
- 94% of the area’s metered parking spaces are occupied with nearly 100% of spaces occupied at peak periods.
- Nearly one in every six vehicles parked along 7th Avenue is illegally parked, with the rate of illegal parking rising exponentially as the curb fills.
- Nearly two-thirds of local traffic consists of vehicles circling the block looking for parking spaces!
White says "When one in two cars is simply circling the block in search of parking, the curb is being mismanaged. This study shows that Brooklynites are suffereing from needless traffic and dangerous illegal parking that could be easily eliminated through inexpensive improvements like market-priced Muni-Meters and residential parking permits."
Yassky has been pushing the City to explore the possibility of a residential parking permit program for the neighborhoods around Downtown Brooklyn for three years now. Many believe that residential parking permits and better management of
curbside parking space could help reduce unnecessary automobile trips
into transit-rich Downtown Brooklyn. Jointly conducted by the Downtown Brooklyn Council, DOT and EDC, the residential permit study (PDF download) ultimately recommended not going forward with a residential parking permit program. The $75,000 study was one of the only concessions that the Bloomberg Adminsitration made to neighborhood groups during the extensive rezoning of Downtown Brooklyn.