Today’s Headlines

  • Bailed-Out Auto Companies Would Collapse Without Profits From Gas Guzzlers (NYT)
  • It Won’t Take Much to Tip MTA Finances Into Disarray (NY1)
  • Crosswalk Signals on the Fritz Are Sending Peds Mixed Messages (News)
  • Huge LES Parking Lots May Finally Get Developed — In a Few More Years (NYT)
  • Ride the City Maps Out Data From 20 Months of Online NYC Bike Trip Planning
  • Walking Your Bike on the Sidewalk Is Not a Crime! (EV Grieve)
  • Hey Council Mems: Float a Bill About Parking and You’ll Get Press, Guaranteed (Post)
  • Would Any NYC Daily Publish an Editorial Like This? (WaPo)
  • DOT Rolls Out Delivery Zones to Ease Church Ave Double Parking Woes (NY1)
  • When You Search 40 Minutes For Parking, Maybe Driving Is Not the Right Mode (PS Patch)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Jay

    Perhaps they Daily News only noticed the defective ped crossing signals in Manhattan because they never get out to the “outer boroughs.”

    There’s just as many on the fritz out here, where the working class lives!

  • My council member’s legislative aide said the same thing about the media’s focus on parking: when he proposes a bill about it the papers and TV jump all over it.

    The lady from Cobble Hill driving to Park Slope who spends up to 40 minutes looking for parking (after a 10-minute drive) is doing it, I suspect, because she can’t leave the car on the street near her home due to alternate-side parking.

  • car free nation

    The lady in Park Slope must value her time at a very low rate. Even if it were $15/hr, she’d be able to pay $150/month towards a garage. My guess is anyone living in Park Slope who owns a car easily makes more than that ($30,000/yr)

    And think of the frustration.

    She could get rid of her car, have an additional $6,000 tax free spending (from not having to take care of the car) and rent from time to time, and have more time to sleep in in the morning.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Speaking as a car owner who parks on the street, I can tell you that parking really does end up soaking up an disproportionate amount of your time and mental energy. If you actually use the car, get home late, and there are no spaces (or no spaces good for the next day), what do you do? Not go to work the next day?

    Lose one space? It might be the last space left for you some day! New building without parking for all the units? You may end up sleeping overnight in the car in a hydrant!

    If you don’t believe you can live without the car, or wouldn’t consider it because it is that important to you, then you feel absolutely trapped. It is the personal nightmare associated with the social problem — the biggest downside of personal motor vehicle transportation is the space it requires. Thus, all the attention.

    In a couple of years, after my kids have learned to drive, I expect to not have this problem, because one way or another the car will be gone. For others, however, the nightmare goes on.

  • MRN

    Cobble Hill to Park Slope. It’s one of those trips that couldn’t possibly be made using transit, she simply MUST own a car! And God (or should I say G-D?) forbid she walk.

  • J. Mork

    Sounds like you should call your community board and council members and demand that the undersupply of parking spaces be resolved with a price correction.

  • The Seward Park Urban Renewal Area plan calls to “intersperse commercial and residential sites with open spaces and parks.”

    Read: Towers in a park. The ghost of Le Corbusier continues to haunt!

    Have we learned nothing…?

  • Peter

    Unfortunately, Cobble Hill to the north side of the Slope isn’t as easy as it used to be. The B71 (now cancelled) was the way to go.

    Subways? F train goes to the wrong end of PS. 2/3/4/5 are all a walk up to Borough Hall.

    B63 down Atlantic to 5th ave is your best bet, but imperfect.

    Amazing that two neighborhoods so close to each other are so awkwardly connected.

    A shame noone has invented some kind of lightweight personal transportation device that could quickly, safely, and efficiently get her from one neighborhood to another with no difficult parking requirements.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Sounds like you should call your community board and council members and demand that the undersupply of parking spaces be resolved with a price correction.”

    You are advocating capitalism, which is not popular in New York.

    Neither is socialism, in which (in theory) scarce resources are allocated according to some objective measure of need — because those measures often don’t take into account the relative value of different people, according to the people in the room when the decisions are made.

    For those in charge the preferred method for allocating scarce resources if feudalism — those who have existing advantages and privileges get to keep them in bad times and add to them in good times. For everyone else it’s hold harmless in good times (or a few nickels), “shared sacrifice” in bad times.

    While this offends me mightily with regard to anything important (such as public employee compensation for past and future hires), I might be willing to go with it with regard to parking.

    Those licensed and insured in an area on the date of enactment get an endlessly renewable right to park overnight on the street at below cost (say $10 per month). Future car owners pay market rates, and if an area is held to have a “parking shortage,” no permits are auctioned off until existing ones are given up. Shared cars such as Zipcar would be exempt from the charge, and would get first dips on available permits in parking scarce areas.

    Bottom line: for future residents if you want a car, move to an area with parking. If you are prepared to live without one, certain areas will be organized around your transporation needs. Existing residents are held harmless, except for a below market charge in exchange for excluding additional parkers from their area.

  • Daily News/ped signals:

    Brewer is right; the DOT spokesperson is totally wrong: the malfunctioning ped signals are still EVERYWHERE (all over Manhattan too, Jay)! I see them every single day, and I don’t even leave Manhattan.

    It’s definitely dangerous for old people. DOT has to get on the ball on this. And definitely not buy signals from the same crap manufacturer without serious guarantees.

  • Expected life span of seven years (for ped signal heads)? I hope they’re talking about the LEDs themselves, and not the fixture as a whole. I could weatherize a Lite Brite for a tenth of the cost that would last ten times longer.

  • J. Mork

    “You are advocating capitalism, which is not popular in New York.”

    Great line!

    “While this offends me mightily with regard to anything important (such as public employee compensation for past and future hires), I might be willing to go with it with regard to parking.”

    Free on-street parking has got to be the single largest use of public space in this city. I can’t understand why you would say it’s not important. Unfortunately, the only conclusion I can draw is that it’s so you can continue to advocate for (essentially) free parking for yourself.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Free on-street parking has got to be the single largest use of public space in this city. I can’t understand why you would say it’s not important.”

    What I mean is that car ownership is not a necessity, so introducing an element of feudalism (perks for incumbents) into a parking permit program to secure passage is not as offensive.

  • Read: Towers in a park. The ghost of Le Corbusier continues to haunt!

    Have we learned nothing…?

    Thank you, Jeff! Anyone know who in CB3 could be persuaded to at least provide street-front retail?

  • J. Mork

    I agree, it could be a possible way to minimize opposition, were it ever get close to happenning. I’d prefer a phase in, rather than unlimited amnesty, however.

  • J:Lai

    The funny thing is, I bet most people would either support some form of residential street parking permits, or not care, making it a political slam dunk. I believe most car owners who park on the street would prefer to pay for a permit in return for avoiding the uncertainty of not knowing if you can find a spot.
    At the margin, it might make some households with multiple cars get rid of one of them.

    Regarding the woman who commutes from carrol gardens to park slope, in her defense this is a shitty commute by bus even though the distance is not that great. If it were me i would ride a bike, but realistically biking is not for everyone.

    Increased connectivity via transit between destinations outside of Manhattan should be a priority, as this would allow for much more economic diversification, which the city badly needs.

  • Boris

    “The funny thing is, I bet most people would either support some form of residential street parking permits, or not care, making it a political slam dunk.”

    The woman from Cobble Hill wouldn’t support it. She’d have to park in a garage in Park Slope each time she makes the trip. And right now it seems she prefers to cruise for 40 minutes than take advantage of existing paid parking options.

    She is a part of a sizable and vocal minority who drive from one neighborhood to another for work or shopping on a regular basis, and would be opposed to any permit system – at least one that doesn’t allow free-for-all parking during the daytime.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “She is a part of a sizable and vocal minority who drive from one neighborhood to another for work or shopping on a regular basis, and would be opposed to any permit system – at least one that doesn’t allow free-for-all parking during the daytime.”

    I wouldn’t want permit parking in the daytime. What if we were having a party on the weekend or hosing family members on a holiday, and some of the guests were coming in from out of town? That’s why I suggest a permit to park overnight. There is plenty of parking where I live during weekdays.

    But there is another constituency that has no need for permits the free up parking at any time — those with placards.

    They could make political hay out of any paid permit proposal by claiming it was the work of an “out of touch billionaire” to take away driving from “hard working middle class New Yorkers” in favor of “hispters and Yuppies from Ohio” who could afford to pay. I could hear certain pols saying it reflexibly, as if they were robots whose thoughts were computer programs that always respond to inputs the same way.

  • tacony palmyra

    If this woman is in decent health the F train should serve her just fine to commute from Cobble Hill to Park Slope in less time than it takes her to find parking. Nowhere in Cobble Hill is more than a 10 minute walk to the Bergen Street stop, and the temple where she works is 10 minutes walk from the 7th Ave stop. Biking would be even quicker, but the train is not terrible.

  • I think the canonical Streetsblog discussion on residential parking permits is this one. Lots of good ideas in there.

  • Joe R.

    It would be great if we could do away with curbside parking altogether. Those rows of parked cars are an eyesore. I think how nice the streets look when the no parking signs go up any time utility work is being done. Either put the parking in underground garages ( parking lots are an eyesore also plus a massive waste of space ), or better yet do away with it altogether in places where other options to get around exist. Of course the vocal minority who drives will oppose this. I’m at the point though of telling these people there are plenty of places you can go in the US where they will be all to happy to accomodate your motoring lifestyle. NYC has the potential to be largely car-free if only we had the political will. It’s a shame how the driving minority spoils it for the rest.

  • Larry Littlefield

    What has changed since November 2, 2007, when the canonical post was made?

    Desperation for revenue.

    But also, the inability to offer any benefits in exchange.

    (They were actually in that position in November 2007 too, but it seemed to not be widely known at the time).

  • It would be great if we could do away with curbside parking altogether. Those rows of parked cars are an eyesore.

    Yes, as long as there’s something to keep speeding drivers from hitting people on the sidewalk.

  • vnm

    I think it is a testament to the supreme idiocy of 1960s-style urban renewal and “slum clearance” that an area of prime real estate has been blighted for 40 years, and we’re still grappling with what to do about it a generation after the error. Imagine if they hadn’t demolished the tenements.

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