Days Numbered for City Parking Privileges?


Michael Bloomberg (front row, fourth from right) with other mayors at the C40 Summit 

City employees should not have the right to free parking any more than New Yorkers who labor in the private sector, Mayor Bloomberg said Tuesday, hinting that the perk which entices 35 percent of government workers to drive to Manhattan could soon be history.

Fielding a question from Streetsblog about the impact city employees have on congestion, Bloomberg said the use of parking placards should be limited to emergencies, as should lights and sirens, and that he is considering restrictions on the privilege that some have come to view as an entitlement.

Bloomberg’s remarks came as he stood in Central Park with mayors from around the world, gathered for the Clinton Foundation’s C40 Climate Summit, to announce that they have taken up the mantle of fighting climate change.

"Mayors are leading, quite frankly, because we have to," Bloomberg said. "Mayors can’t wait for the future."

Bloomberg is one of over 500 to sign on to the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. Initiated by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels in 2005, the agreement commits participating cities to reduce CO2 emissions to 1990 levels, matching the goals of the Kyoto Protocol, of which the United States is not a signee.

Bloomberg has emerged as the star of the four-day C40 Summit, due in no small part to persistent rumors of a 2008 presidential bid. Deflecting questions regarding his future political plans, and brushing off one reporter’s suggestion that he might position himself as a "Republican Al Gore," Bloomberg said the public should demand straight answers from candidates on national energy policy. "You can’t equivocate," he said. "You can’t be on both sides of the issue."

On congestion pricing — another matter that has brought him the national spotlight — the mayor dismissed the notion that he is at odds with state lawmakers, despite media reports to the contrary.

"We are not having a battle with Albany," said Bloomberg. "We went up there yesterday and we got more than a respectful hearing."

  • gecko

    A billion dollars buying 5 million $200 bikes with local conditions quickly adjusted to accommodate safe cycling — like during the transit strike — would be a reeeeaaly big start.

  • Phil

    What about all those thousands of City Vehicles that are allowed to be used for commuting purposes????

  • Steve Davis

    NYC blocked passage of the state light pollution bill for the past 6 years.
    The reasons given are invalide when others
    have done it. C40 Climate Summit had
    streetlighting as one of the six major categories with case history. Unfortunately,
    Calgary, Canada was not included. Will Governor Spitzer rein in special interests
    over the objections coming from the Big Apple?

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Jan Gehl on Sustainable Transport in Copenhagen and NYC

|
While in Copenhagen to film the Danish capital’s world-beating bike infrastructure, Streetfilms’ Elizabeth Press caught up with urban planner extraordinaire Jan Gehl for a brief, canal-side chat. In this clip, Gehl explains how cycling and transit fit within the city’s sustainability agenda, and why "unnecessary transportation" threatens the global climate. With Mayor Bloomberg in Copenhagen […]

Bloomberg in São Paulo: A Glimpse of the Green Mayor

|
When it comes to sustainable transportation, Michael Bloomberg is saving his strongest words for an international audience. While the mayor’s rhetoric on transportation now tends to focus on safety, when transportation is on his agenda at all, at a meeting of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group in São Paulo Bloomberg brought back some of […]
Streets around NYC schools are about to get more chaotic.

Reversing Bloomberg Reforms, City Will Reissue Tens of Thousands of Teacher Parking Placards

|
Get ready for a lot more car traffic and illegal parking around New York City schools. The de Blasio administration is returning to a system that enables widespread abuse of parking privileges, with the Department of Education agreeing to hand out parking placards to any school employee who has a car and requests one, reversing reforms instituted during the Bloomberg administration.

C40 Large Cities Climate Summit: Welcome Reception

|
From May 14 – May 17, 2007, leaders of municipal governments and international businesses from over thirty world cities will convene in New York City for the second C40 Large Cities Climate Summit. Cities are responsible for three-quarters of the world’s energy consumption, and as such, the world’s largest cities have a critical role to […]

Bloomberg Relieves Council Mems of Reserved Parking as NYPD Rants

|
Hours after yesterday’s Daily News broke the story of four City Council members having designated street parking near their offices, Mayor Bloomberg quashed the perk. Wrote Liz Benjamin on The Daily Politics: Bloomberg said he talked to DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan after reading about the free spaces in this morning’s DN and told her "we’ve […]

NYPD on Parking Perks for Press: Do as We Say, Not as We Do

|
The City Council’s attempt to return parking privileges to the New York press corps faces opposition, ironically enough, from the New York City Police Department. Intro. 779, sponsored by transportation committee chair Ydanis Rodriguez and 34 of his colleagues, would allow people with press-designated license plates from New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut to “park where parking or standing […]