Hell’s Kitchen Parking Plan Continues to Confound

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The Daily News has picked up on the city’s court battle to bring some 20,000 new parking spaces to the far West Side, a plan that — along with at least one or two other notorious examples — is directly at odds with the Bloomberg administration’s ambitious environmental agenda.

Local residents are suing to block Bloomberg’s rezoning plan for the
area because of the extra parking, and environmental and transportation
groups also call it bad policy.

"It sounds to me like the
development people are not talking to the environmental people at City
Hall," said Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan), who represents
the area.
"It would encourage more people to drive cars into the
central business district. If you build off-street parking, they will
come."

The Bloomberg administration says it hopes most workers and residents will rely on mass transit to get there.

"The
recent rezoning of Hudson Yards, which was done concurrently with the
approval of the expansion of the No. 7 subway, will promote the
emergence of a new public-transportation-oriented residential and
commercial community with considerable affordable housing and public
green space," said mayoral spokesman John Gallagher.

In a
speech to the Manhattan Institute last week, Bloomberg said extending
the 7 train to Hudson yards will make it "the next Gold Coast of this
city."

Gottfried, though, said more parking will create more
congestion. "If increased development is going to be accompanied by
increased automobile traffic, it will strangle itself," he said.

State
environmental regulators had not objected to the rezoning until critics
complained in August. Now state Environmental Conservation Commissioner
Pete Grannis has ordered the city to study how parking limits affect
air pollution.

Related on Streetsblog:

Photo: jay d/Flickr

  • Dave

    I am of two minds on this:

    – Build the parking and eliminate on-street parking so street space can be dedicated to pedetrians and bikers. No matter how tough you make it to drive to the area, people will do so. Isn’t it better to get parked cars off the street?
    – Have less off-street parking and price the on-street parking very high. Given the scale of development envisioned there is no way to do this with no garage space.

    Keep in mind that the city has long had a pro-auto mindset. Look at:
    – Contra-flow measures facilitating driving into Manhattna during morning rush (my biggest pet peeve)
    – The Yankee Stadium parking fiasco
    – The tragically flawed redesign on Houston Street

    We are not going to be able to change the mindset imeediately to a less car-friendly one. But at least the discussion is in the open now.

  • Quill

    This parking is bad. Period. This will encourage thousands of new driving trips into the CBD at the same time City Hall says it is working to discourage those trips. The word for this is Hypocrisy. Things like this are why many in the think the congestion pricing proposal is BS.

  • Niccolo Macchiaveli

    This parking expansion creates two effects, both negative; the real estate has the price of parking rolled into it, making it much more valuable to car owners than non-owners and it forces non-owners out decreasing capacity utilization on the end of the #7 line and devaluing the investment for the MTA.

  • Eric

    More of the Jekyll-and-Hyde Bloomberg. Scotch the parking spaces and make any on-street parking market rate.

    The administration continues to say one thing and do another, and most of the do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do nonsense has to do with its kowtowing to big development interests, like Brooklyn’s Public Enemy #1, Bruce Ratner.

  • Aaron W

    It’s always hard to know if things like this are the result of deals made to achieve something else, or simply incompetence (which is not to say that it’s necessarily a beneficial deal, if it is).

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