CB 12 Committee Says “No” to Parking Permits for All Teachers

As we reported last week, Maria Baez and a handful of other City Council members want to issue free parking permits to every public school teacher in New York City. As the system presently employs some 95,000 full-time teachers, in addition to 18,000 part-time teachers and paraprofessionals, Intro 894 would encourage hundreds of thousands of car trips per year just as the city is making efforts to reduce driving by government employees by reining in parking placard issues.

The bill got its first hearing from Community Board 12 in Washington Heights last night, where it was overwhelmingly rejected by the board’s transportation committee.

"Most members of the committee did not want to bring even more cars into the neighborhood," Chair Mark Levine told Streetsblog.

If the Baez bill isn’t going over in car-friendly Upper Manhattan, that may not bode well for its success elsewhere. But given that Alan Gerson, who presides over one of the most congested districts of the city, has signed on as an early co-sponsor, we’d be foolish to write it off.

  • “Intro 894 would encourage hundreds of thousands of car trips per year”

    Actually, it would encourage 34.2 million car trips per year. (95,000 teachers x 180 school days x 2 trips per day). Lets have our teachers lead by example, and get them onto buses, trains, and bikes!

  • Robin

    How about free Metrocards for teachers instead?

  • Sam

    “Actually, it would encourage 34.2 million car trips per year. (95,000 teachers x 180 school days x 2 trips per day).”

    I think the bill is a bad idea but your projection overstates the case. First, not all teachers own cars. Second, the availability of parking isn’t the only factor in deciding whether to drive or not. The cost of gas, wear and tear on the car, and the level of traffic all come into play.

    And finally there’s the convenience of public transportation (or the lack of it.) If a subway or bus stops near both ends of the journey then it would be the preferred method of commuting, regardless of the availability of parking. OTOH if a teacher is commuting from one side of Queens to the other driving would be appealing.

  • Ian Turner

    How about teachers pay their own way just like everyone else.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “If the Baez bill isn’t going over in car-friendly Upper Manhattan, that may not bode well for its success elsewhere.”

    They are friendly to their own cars, not to having other people’s cars compete for parking. Hence the contradiction of the automobile — one’s own automobile improves their quality of life and reduces everyone else’s.

  • Rhywun

    > How about teachers pay their own way just like everyone else.

    Common sense – I like it.

  • That’s amazing to hear!

    This is something that could have easily sunk low, with proponents wondering how anyone could be against supporting teachers. I still say we use that money to support teachers! I’m so glad people saw the difference between supporting teachers and providing a direct incentive to drive.

  • Ian Turner

    Charley,

    What money were you referring to by “that money”?

  • Doesn’t a parking permit exlude the person who has it from metered spots? If not what exactly does the permit allow?

  • Rhywun

    Wait a minute… shouldn’t this be part of negotiations between the city and the teachers’ union anyway? What are we doing legislating extra perks for them?

  • Agreed, Sam, that this may not “cause” 35 million more car trips… but it certainly “encourages” them, which was the term used in the stat that I corrected.

    And that’s the fundamental problem with legislation like this. No one can prevent socially irresponsible behavior, but we certainly shouldn’t encourage it.

  • J. Mork

    This would not cause every teacher to drive, but it would almost certainly encourage some teachers who don’t currently own a car to buy one.

  • says so

    Quite a few teachers like in Jersey. Not everyone can afford to live where they work.

  • says so

    whoops meant LIVE in Jersey.

  • Trust me, anyone who can afford to live in Jersey can afford to live in Maria Baez’s district. Anyone who can afford to drive a car could afford to live walking distance from half the schools in the city – if they gave up the car. This is about subsidizing somebody’s idea of what it means to be middle class, no more nor less.

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Maria Baez wants all teachers to hit the road. Transit-riding New Yorkers, take heart. In these tough times, your City Council members are at this moment pushing a slew of bills that will make your lives easier. All you have to do is trade your MetroCard for a set of car keys. In December and […]