City’s Parking Expansion Sustains Nothing but Motoring

From the Tri-State Transportation Campaign‘s latest newsletter, three examples of how City Hall contradicts its stated Long-Term Planning and Sustainability goals with policies that foster more automobile dependence:

The huge parking expansion associated with new Yankee Stadium construction has failed to attract any bids from private operators. The city has apparently scaled the seemingly uneconomic plan back by one 900-car garage, but instead of reducing it further, it is adding more public money to ensure that the new, smaller stadium has thousands of additional parking spaces around it.

The city’s Economic Development Corp. wants to award $186 million in triple tax-exempt bonds for parking garage construction, significantly upping public subsidies for the project. Housing advocates say the shortage of such "private activity" tax-exempt bonding is one reason affordable housing construction in the city lags so badly. Meanwhile, news reports say the MTA is having trouble funding the Yankee Stadium Metro-North station that was added to the stadium project after criticism last year.

Developer Forest City Ratner is about to knock down historic buildings near downtown Brooklyn to construct the borough’s biggest surface parking lot. On Sunday, April 15, Brooklyn Speaks, a coalition favoring a better Atlantic Yards plan, will hold a rally against the demolition and parking lot. "Providing 1,400 surface parking spaces next to the third largest transit hub in the city is not only unnecessary, it is contradictory to the whole rationale for the project’s location," the Tri-State Campaign said in the event’s announcement.

The issue of urban parking and traffic may yet be aired in court. The Hell’s Kitchen Neighborhood Association‘s nearly two-year-old Clean Air Act lawsuit against NY City and State recently survived a round of dismissal motions. It claims that the 2005 Hudson Yards amendment to the NYC Zoning Resolution violated clean air law by relaxing the parking regulations below 60th Street without first fulfilling the terms of an agreement with the EPA. While the development says nothing about the strength of the allegations or potential outcome of the case, it bodes well that it will be heard and decided on the merits.

  • Developer Forest City Ratner is about to knock down historic buildings near downtown Brooklyn to construct the borough’s biggest surface parking lot.

    Amazing. It’s a replay of the bad old days of 1950s-60s urban renewal. Except today we have half a century of experience, research and case studies that tell us, in excruciating detail, exactly why this is a failed planning policy.

  • Yero

    Another example of the EDC is promoting vehicular traffic over “multi-use urban environment” (their words) is on Duffield Street in Downtown Brooklyn. The EDC wants to seize private homes that the residents claim were part of the historic Underground Railroad of the Civil War era in order to build an underground parking lot.

    See http://dailygotham.com/blog/yero/lots_of_blog_coverage_of_the_duffield_underground_railroad_safehouses

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    Am I right in counting three separate instances of “economic development” agencies bulldozing historic buildings to build parking facilities in the densely populated, transit-rich Downtown Brooklyn area?

    The “Temporary” Atlantic Yards parking lot, built by Ratner with ESDC financing
    the Duffield garage, financed by the city EDC
    the “BAM Cultural District” garage, built by the ESDC and rented out to owners of condos at One Hanson Place

    In addition, there are the massive parking facilities planned for Yankee Stadium and “Citifield,” the Shea Stadium replacement, plus the Hudson Yards rezoning.

    It seems that as a stepping stone to Zero Parking Growth in New York City, we should at least fight for zero publicly-funded parking growth. And it definitely looks like the groups fighting these various misguided project could stand to pool their resources and support each other, particularly in Brooklyn. The group in the Bronx apparently could have used more support (but maybe not from Trotskyite infiltrators).

  • Gizler

    Is this New York, or St. Louis?

  • Trotskyites?

    What exactly does a Trotskyite, circa Bronx 2007, have as their goal? Are these creatures often spotted roaming the streets of Highbridge or Concourse Village? Do they wear little hats with a capital T on them?

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    Curbed didn’t print the letter, so the only thing we have to go on is their final letter, posted here. All that says is “after being hindered in their actions to fulfill their responsibilities as boards of directors of SaveOurParks! by a few radicals from outside the community, [board members] feel their efforts are more productive outside the organization rather than inside.”

    So according to the letter, it sounds like the Trotskyites weren’t actually roaming the strets of Highbridge, but instead came in from outside the community. It’s possible that they were more interested in fomenting revolution than in stopping the garage.

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