How a DOT Parking Rule Change Made NYC Streets Less Safe

Photo: Brad Aaron
Prompted by Council Member Vincent Gentile, in 2009 DOT made it legal to park in unmarked crosswalks, satiating demand for free on-street parking once and for all. Photo: Brad Aaron

I violated a traffic rule on the day I moved to New York City.

I parked a minivan, rented for the move, in this spot on Seaman Avenue. I locked up the van and was headed to my apartment when a passerby informed me that I would get ticketed, if not towed, if I left it there. I didn’t notice the pedestrian ramp, which leads to Payson Avenue across the street, and I’d blocked the crossing.

As noted recently on Urban Residue, in 2009 DOT adopted a rule change that allows drivers to park at T intersections. The change was prompted by Council Member Vincent Gentile, who had introduced a bill to make it legal to park in unmarked crosswalks across the city.

According to a Brooklyn Eagle report, Gentile wanted “to open up more parking spaces” — and, of course, keep pedestrians from putting themselves in harm’s way.

Sloped curb cuts where vehicles are now permitted to park, Gentile explained, are “unfit for safe pedestrian crossing” because they there are no traffic signals or stop signs to slow down oncoming traffic. And there are no crosswalk lines marking where pedestrians should cross, he added.

You’ll recall that in the days before Vision Zero, as far as transportation policy was concerned, the City Council was focused on little else besides making it easier to park. With Speaker Christine Quinn and transpo committee chairs John Liu and Jimmy Vacca trying to score points by addressing one car owner gripe after another, Gentile’s bill might have passed even if DOT hadn’t beaten him to the punch.

We don’t know how many parking spaces were created by this rule change, but one thing’s for sure: The headaches for NYC car owners aren’t going away as long as curbside parking is totally free.

Meanwhile, according to an NYU Langone Medical Center study of Bellevue trauma patients, more pedestrians are injured while crossing in crosswalks with “walk” signals than while crossing mid-block or against the signal. Data mapped by Transportation Alternatives’ CrashStat show that, between 1995 and 2009, there were no pedestrian-involved crashes at Seaman and Payson, while the two closest signalized intersections saw a handful of injury crashes each.

Has blocking unmarked crosswalks — which are natural walking paths — stopped people from using them? No, but it has worsened sight lines, making it harder for drivers and pedestrians to see each other. What the city should be doing is daylighting space next to pedestrian curb ramps — the opposite of the Gentile rule.

With traffic safety now a top tier issue for electeds, there’s no time like the present.

  • qrt145

    What’s the point of a curb cut if it’s going to be blocked by a parked vehicle? It boggles the mind. Doesn’t this rule go against the Americans with Disabilities Act?

  • R

    “Has blocking unmarked crosswalks — which are natural walking paths — stopped people from using them? No, but it has worsened sight lines…”

    I’d argue it’s even worse than that. Since the sloped curb cut essentially tells pedestrians, “Cross here,” and because few are versed in official NYC parking rules and regulations, I’d assume most pedestrians simply think that these drivers are parked illegally and try to cross at spots like this anyway.

    If DOT has determined that people shouldn’t cross here and that the best and highest use is private vehicle storage, it needs to rip out the sloped curb and repour the concrete.

  • Daphna

    One solution is to start putting in more marked crosswalks. When federal standards to do allow for a traffic light due to low traffic volumes and low “conflicts”, and also do not allow for a stop sign, there is still the option of a yield sign. Thus a yield sign can be installed and then crosswalks can be striped.

    The law in discussion which allows people to park between marked crosswalks at a T-intersection and allows people to park on unmarked crosswalks, is a terrible law; however, the best solution now is to start converting unmarked crosswalks into marked ones. And let’s add some painted sidewalk extensions at the side of each newly marked crosswalk too!

  • Daphna

    Maybe a viable step is a direct action campaign where people get out there with paint and stripe the crosswalks.

  • Ian Turner
  • southsloop

    Same thing here.

    View Larger Map

  • Rich Boatti

    I disagree with the characterization that “in the days before Vision Zero, as far as transportation policy was concerned, the City Council was focused on little else besides making it easier to park.” The Quinn City Council passed congestion pricing, which de Blasio voted against as a councilman. A little nuance would be appreciated on this topic.

  • Joe R.

    This falls into the “I can’t believe they would do something so blatantly retarded” category. Seriously, parking which blocks curb cuts is actually allowed? Unbelievable. For that matter, parking right next to a crosswalk shouldn’t be allowed either as it impedes sight lines. Ideally, the only curbside parking which would be allowed in NYC would be for delivery vehicles to load/unload. I’ll even settle for not allowing curbside parking within 50 feet of a crosswalk.

    On another note, where did the idea of allowing people to store their private property on city streets come from? If I put a couch on the street it would be taken away. Why should people be allowed to store their cars on city streets? Besides the hazard parked cars create from drivers looking for spots or backing into them, curbside parking uglifies the neighborhood. It’s high time this practice was either banned altogether, or severely restricted.

  • JDC

    It seems like everyone feels qualified to be a traffic engineer or transportation planner lately: “Speed bumps don’t do shit…We need a light out here.” “There are no traffic signals or stop signs to slow down oncoming traffic.” It’s as if having a drivers license qualifies you to not just use the roads, but how to design them too.

  • Cold Shoaler

    Right? And when the city does charge for curb-side parking it’s $1 per hour. That sounds about ‘market rate’ for NYC real estate, doesn’t it?

  • Joseph E

    Is this really allowed by the Americans with Disabilities Act? It seem to me that this is blocking disabled access to as street crossing. How is a wheelchair user supposed to cross?

  • Joseph E

    Any disabled New Yorker want to file an ADA complaint with the feds? http://www.ada.gov/filing_complaint.htm

  • lop

    >>On another note, where did the idea of allowing people to store their
    private property on city streets come from?

    http://capntransit.blogspot.com/2012/08/shit-we-cant-keep-in-street.html

    >>For that matter, parking right next to a crosswalk shouldn’t be allowed either as it impedes sight lines.

    Crossing adults can see over cars. But not children. Or anyone if the car is instead a a truck or SUV.

  • Joe R.

    Gentile’s statement ( “Sloped curb cuts where vehicles are now permitted to park are “unfit for safe pedestrian crossing” because they there are no traffic signals or stop signs to slow down oncoming traffic.” ) belies his ignorance. The purpose of stop signs or traffic signals is to prevent cars from colliding with each other, period. They are not, nor were they ever, a device intended to slow oncoming traffic. The fact that NYC overuses both for this purpose at the behest of ignorant community boards doesn’t magically make it so. If anything, we need to start removing traffic signals and stop signs from intersections where the guidelines for installing them aren’t met. There should be a mechanism at NYC DOT to do exactly that.

  • Again SB cites a study that doesn’t take into account that the majority of New Yorkers use crosswalks, as if saying it’s safer to cross streets in a helicopter than using a crosswalk while rolling across the road which in this case would be true.

    Regarding some of these access ramps there are areas where there are heavier loads of pedestrians especially near subway entrances, so DOT should put in crosswalk lines. Other areas are rarely or never used by anyone with more convenient marked crosswalks available. I personally don’t think it’s an issue and in the places where I see these I can’t imagine any handicapped person wanting to risk crossing at these un-lined T-intersections.

    Keeping people from double parking and letting out passengers in traffic is also a consideration. Getting vehicles into parking spots easier and thus ‘off the road’ is certainly safer than having vehicles wander around a neighborhood looking for a space.

  • Andres Dee

    How is it that the City can adopt rules on that hurts peds on its own, but needs to go to Albany to enact laws that protect them?

    BTW, IIRC a crosswalk does not need to be marked to be a crosswalk and when there’s no “device”, cars must yield to (in NJ stop for) peds.

  • Andrew

    Regarding some of these access ramps there are areas where there are heavier loads of pedestrians especially near subway entrances, so DOT should put in crosswalk lines. Other areas are rarely or never used by anyone with more convenient marked crosswalks available. I personally don’t think it’s an issue and in the places where I see these I can’t imagine any handicapped person wanting to risk crossing at these un-lined T-intersections.

    Are you seriously suggesting that a pedestrian confined to a wheelchair would prefer to go blocks out of his or her way to get across the street than to cross at one of these locations, and that therefore we shouldn’t even provide the option?

    If these were still legal crosswalks, I can think of one way to make wheelchair users more comfortable using them: enforcement of yield-to-pedestrian laws.

    Keeping people from double parking and letting out passengers in traffic is also a consideration. Getting vehicles into parking spots easier and thus ‘off the road’ is certainly safer than having vehicles wander around a neighborhood looking for a space.

    Increasing the supply of parking does not, in the long run, make it easier to find parking. It merely reduces the disincentive to drive and induces more driving and hence more parking.

    If the goal were to reduce double parking, I’d suggest designating space for short-term loading, along with reasonable pricing of parking in general. But that wasn’t the goal here. The goal was to pander to self-entitled motorists, to everyone’s detriment.

  • Kevin Love

    Do you seriously think that the police are actually going to enforce the law in the face of dangerous car drivers? In New York City? (Kevin chuckles sadly…)

  • Hi Andrew, In order to drive you have to own a vehicle. It would be ridiculous for anyone to all of a sudden consider buying a vehicle just because there’s and extra free space on their street.

    And the HC person would not be going out of their way. You make is sound like they would be rolling backwards (thus out of their way) in order to reach a place where they could cross. In NYC with rectangular blocks almost everywhere there is no time savings with crossing the street at unmarked intersections (as is almost always the case with few exceptions) as it typically is the same distance to continue along a block until there’s a marked cross walk. On the other hand, if you are in a wheel chair you are harder to see because you are not as tall as someone standing, so rolling out between parked vehicles because there happens to be a ramp is not a wise thing to do as it’s close to impossible for drivers to see that a pedestrian is approaching the road (even if they are tall and standing).

    Although I think these are important issues, I think providing parking for schools, police stations, etc. are more important. Zoning makes it clear the requirements for parking and it appears to me that these buildings have been allowed to ignore those requirements, thus exasperating parking and more importantly road safety issues. Simply put, having and allowing on street parking on narrow roads in heavily congested area only heightens the chance for conflicts between the different modes of transportation. The alternative of having no on-street parking would mean better design intersections, more sidewalk space/plantings, less visual clutter and obstructions (visual obstructions preventing motorists from seeing pedestrians) and a safer place to be.

  • This @IanTurner is a perfect example of where crosswalk lines should be added, as there is a subway station entrance just a few houses from this intersection and thus there is heavy pedestrian traffic especially at rush hour. Like you can probably make out in the image people have painted lines on the road in 2 spots (in this image) to keep people from parking thus making room for people to cross. Have you written a letter to the DOT requesting crosswalk lines (and a yield to pedestrian sign) at this location?

  • I wouldn’t be surprised if DOT put them in when they were installing new curbs, to accommodate any future crosswalks. On Court Street and Kane there is a T intersection with crosswalk lines and a light, but in many areas there just isn’t the kind of heavy load to justify lines, lights and the rest, unless that changes in the future, or, there was an oversight as to the demand now. What’s ironic in this conversation is if you observe pedestrians who cross at these intersections where there are no lines NO one actually crosses at a right angle (with few exceptions). The majority of people cross at about a 60 degree angle from where they step off the curb tilted in the general direction of where they want to travel. So as far as natural walking paths, those are way more curvilinear or angular. Only several objective case studies of these unmarked intersections would really tell how they’re actually used.

  • Andrew

    Hi Andrew, In order to drive you have to own a vehicle. It would be ridiculous for anyone to all of a sudden consider buying a vehicle just because there’s and extra free space on their street.

    The difficulty of finding parking is a strong disincentive to owning a car. Why do you think the car ownership rate is so low in New York City overall, and especially in the parts of the city where parking is hardest to find?
    The more free parking is available, the weaker that disincentive, and the more people will opt to own cars. This won’t happen overnight, and for the first few years motorists may have a slightly easier time finding parking. But after a while, parking will be just as hard as it had been at first, because there will be more cars on the road.

    And eliminating crosswalks, while making it easier to get around by car, simultaneously makes it more difficult to get around on foot.

    And the HC person would not be going out of their way.

    A truly astonishing claim. If a wheelchair user happens to live near the “top” of a T-intersection and needs to reach a business or bus stop or other destination on the other side, how is this not taking him out of his way?

    On the other hand, if you are in a wheel chair you are harder to see because you are not as tall as someone standing, so rolling out between parked vehicles because there happens to be a ramp is not a wise thing to do as it’s close to impossible for drivers to see that a pedestrian is approaching the road (even if they are tall and standing).

    An excellent reason to “daylight” the intersection by banning parking in its immediate vicinity.

    An excellent reason to reduce the speed limit to 25 or even 20 mph – and to enforce it – so that motorists have the time to look for crossing pedestrians.

    An excellent reason to strictly enforce the law requiring motorists to yield to pedestrians in unprotected crosswalks. (The reason motorists often don’t see pedestrians is that, with minimal enforcement, they have little reason to look.)

    A terrible reason to tell pedestrians – especially those with limited mobility – that they need to walk several blocks out of their way. Most households in this city don’t even own a single car – pedestrian mobility and safety must come ahead of parking.

    Although I think these are important issues, I think providing parking for schools, police stations, etc. are more important.

    Providing guaranteed parking to teachers and police is a great way to perpetuate the myth that normal people drive cars and all other modes are for those who are too poor or too young or too sick to drive. It’s a terribly destructive policy. It’s in large part responsible for the dismissive treatment pedestrians and cyclists often get from the police.
    Are teachers and police too good to be subjected to the same commuting choices – with their intrinsic pros and cons – as other New Yorkers?

  • Andrew

    I wouldn’t be surprised if DOT put them in when they were installing new curbs, to accommodate any future crosswalks.

    Future crosswalks? Prior to the parking rule change in 2009, these were crosswalks!

  • lop

    They still are crosswalks.

  • ok assuming I believe you, and? Do you think it’s safer to have more crosswalks and thus exchanges between pedestrians and vehicles or fewer? Are pedestrians safer crossing streets as a group or as individuals (implying that more crosswalks would spread people out)? And how do children walking alone fit into the above questions? And what about the rest of my comment, nothing? Finally why do you seem to be following me around ‘Andrew?’ Do you hate anyone who has a different view point and just want to argue with them? Seriously, quit stalking me please.

    Oh and BTW, the NYU Langone Medical Center study doesn’t say it’s more dangerous to use crosswalks. It says that they get more patients that were injured while using a crosswalk ‘because most people in NYC use crosswalks’ thus it is logical that they would get a higher percentage of injuries from this group, and that by percentage one is way more likely to get injured jaywalking. Hmm I guess I put in that last part, but hopefully those writing articles here will get it, eventually, and hopefully won’t lead people to start jaywalking and ‘get them killed or seriously injured’ as a result. What a stupid notion that it’s safer to jaywalk.

  • Joe R.

    As Andrew says below, don’t discount the lack of availability of parking as a very strong disincentive to car ownership. A friend of mine lost his car during Sandy due to flooding. Had he not had a reserved parking spot in the private lot of his apartment complex, he told me he wouldn’t have considered replacing it. Parking on the street where he lives (Coney Island) is problematic at best. If we reduce/eliminate the supply of curbside parking, I’ve little doubt auto ownership will follow. People won’t own a car if parking is expensive, or if they need to park many blocks from their destination. The last factor alone negates one of the primary benefits of driving in the first place-namely door-to-door convenience.

  • Joe R.

    Parking for police/fire/medical vehicles is obviously necessary but schools only require loading zones for school buses (assuming a significant number of children come by bus, although the city should try to get such children on public transit instead of school buses in the long run). Teachers could come to work by public transit, same as most other people who work in the city. I see no special reason schools need parking for teachers. I think it’s disgraceful how in some cases we’ve converted former facilities for student outdoor recess into teacher parking. This is saying teacher parking is more important than the physical well-being of their students.

  • Andrew

    They still are crosswalks.

    I wish they were, but the law technically disagrees.

    The definition of an unmarked crosswalk in 2008 (courtesy of archive.org):

    That part of a roadway, other than a marked crosswalk, which is included within the extensions of the sidewalk lines between opposite sides of the roadway at an intersection.

    …and in 2014:

    That part of a roadway, other than a marked crosswalk, which is included within the extensions of the sidewalk lines between opposite sides of the roadway at an intersection, provided that (A) the roadway crosses through the intersection rather than ending at the intersection, and/or (B) all traffic on the opposing roadway is controlled by a traffic control device.

    The curb cuts, when installed, led to unmarked crosswalks, and then the law changed and they weren’t crosswalks anymore.

  • Andrew

    ok assuming I believe you, and?

    You don’t need to believe me – you can look it up yourself. The links are in my response to lop.

    Do you think it’s safer to have more crosswalks and thus exchanges between pedestrians and vehicles or fewer?

    I think it’s safer – much safer – to allow pedestrians to cross the street at every intersection, and to ask motorists to drive in a way that respects the presence of pedestrians, than to pretend that it’s in any way desirable to insist that pedestrians walk blocks and blocks out of their way (crossing multiple extra streets in the process!).

    Are pedestrians safer crossing streets as a group or as individuals (implying that more crosswalks would spread people out)?

    I think expecting pedestrians to walk blocks out of their way to cross the street is absurd. The cities that impose such restrictions are highly pedestrian-unfriendly. If they have few pedestrian crashes, it’s only because they have few pedestrians.

    And how do children walking alone fit into the above questions?

    They fit as well as adults.

    Take a look at Shore Road between 91st Street and 3rd Avenue in Bay Ridge – a 13-minute walk without a single marked crosswalk across Shore Road. Those intersections used to have unmarked crosswalks, where pedestrians (including those in wheelchairs) could legally cross the street and where motorists were required to yield. In 2009, in the name of parking, all of those unmarked crosswalked technically disappeared, and it suddenly became illegal to cross at them. Perhaps that seems reasonable to you, but it doesn’t to me. There are five southbound bus stops on the park side of the street – who do you think they’re serving?

    And what about the rest of my comment, nothing?

    Must I comment on every single word of yours? I was simply pointing out that you appear to have a mistaken impression of what a crosswalk is.

    Finally why do you seem to be following me around ‘Andrew?’ Do you hate anyone who has a different view point and just want to argue with them? Seriously, quit stalking me please.

    If you think three comments is stalking (whoops, we’re up to four now), I hereby welcome you to the Internet, but perhaps you need to find a new hobby.

    Oh and BTW , the NYU Langone Medical Center study doesn’t say it’s more dangerous to use crosswalks. It says that they get more patients that were injured while using a crosswalk ‘because most people in NYC use crosswalks’ thus it is logical that they would get a higher percentage of injuries from this group, and that by percentage one is way more likely to get injured jaywalking. Hmm I guess I put in that last part, but hopefully those writing articles here will get it, eventually, and hopefully won’t lead people to start jaywalking and ‘get them killed or seriously injured’ as a result. What a stupid notion that it’s safer to jaywalk.

    I’m sorry, how did the discussion turn to jaywalking? Crossing the street at an unmarked crosswalk is most certainly not jaywalking.

  • Hi Joe, I’m sure there are plenty of teachers taking public transportation, but some certainly have children who have to get to school. I only wish the city provided buses for all children thru junior high, what a difference that would make in all sorts of areas including parents double parking at schools which is very dangerous. And I agree that outdoor parks are more important, but to design a new school without a parking garage below the structure (since this is an urban environment) is foolish and I think is illegal, like not providing proper restroom facilities.
    It’s ironic that about 6% of people parking take up 2 parking spaces, at least in my neighborhood. Addressing that issue might make allowing parking in front of curb cuts a non-subject.

  • Lack of parking is an incentive to not own, true, but it’s not as important as the financial burden of owning. Even though finances are more important one certainly can’t just dismiss the difficulty of parking as a component of someone making a decision. Do you know why I didn’t own a vehicle for 30 years? It had to do with safety and with fuel economy as dominate decision factors, but I suspect I am in the small minority for using those reasons. The tipping point was that now I have a teen, and she needs transportation to get to everywhere in the outer city she needs to get to, that and also for my business to meet clients all over the tri-state area. But I prefer to have my vehicle parked and am relieved when I’m able to do so. Only a thorough survey of vehicle owners would help in understanding real motives, the rest is speculation based on logic, that is an unbiased survey.

    Speaking of financial burden related to the cost of housing, the more expensive housing is the more likely one will move further from the CBD, thus providing an incentive to purchase a vehicle in order to function. This was also a factor for me, not being able to afford my old neighborhood the trade off between location and ability to continue to function in a timely manner was a component in my own decision process to purchase a vehicle. The point is this isn’t a black and white issue, one side versus the other.

  • fewd

    It doesn’t matter if there are other factors that impact the decision to own a car. Increasing the supply of free parking can push those on the fence to buy a car, when they would not have otherwise.

    Housing costs near the CBD are too high? Eliminate parking minimums, and take away general motor vehicle lanes to put in exclusive surface transit lanes to make it easier for people to get around without a car that they would need to park in an expensive to build parking spot.

  • It does matter if one wants to address real concerns or just fringe ones. It’s also clear by a statement like yours you could care less if an individual can’t find a parking spot, which is thus a hostile point of view.

    Rome is great in that there are many areas off limits to vehicles, making for a rich walking experience, but this isn’t Rome. That said there are opportunities to remove public vehicle lanes and even more should be created on an urban design level, but the jest I always get here is that people are totally and unyieldingly against all personal vehicles. It’s like I’m speaking to an extreme right-wing group who expects everyone to live just like they do. I make a point about a false conclusion regarding that study and how those conclusions could be dangerous and get instead dragged into a lot of other areas, with people just plain disagreeing with anything and everything I point out.

    Go ahead and keep your (and others) pov despite my attempt to help SB gain credibility with accuracy and unbiased opinions, to help make streets safer for pedestrians. It’s obvious that this is a hostile place to comment and views like my own are not welcome.

    One truth is, if people had a secure parking space they would hardly ever drive their vehicle, but instead with street cleaning they are forced onto the road once or twice every week. That encourages driving, increases road usage, congestion, pollution and potential danger. People will own a vehicle if they choose to own one, no matter what type of manipulation, like limiting parking, that people attempt to put on them, but there are other pov’s, other solutions, other factors that have to do with integration that’s in the best interest of everyone. With this, I shall go ahead and unsubscribe from SB as there is abundant proof within the articles and of users that other pov’s, especially any that have to do with talking about vehicles and potential solutions, are truly unwelcome. ‘fewd’ yeah good alternative name there, so appropriate.

  • Joe R.

    I think you’re misunderstanding the purpose of Streetsblog. Sure, many people here are anti-personal vehicle. However, look at the context. We’re nearly 100% comprised of urban dwellers here. I feel cars have a place in society-in rural and suburban areas. They don’t belong in cities at all because they take up far more space than the alternatives. Cars also create loads of problems when there are lots of them, including often making it necessary to install traffic signals which delay cyclists and pedestrians (or more likely simply get ignored by them).

    What we need to do is to stop accommodating cars in cities, period, whether through on or off street parking, or street design. That in turn will result in sufficient demand for public transit and biking so that both are radically improved. It’s a chicken or egg thing. Public transit is often lacking in the outer parts of the city because there isn’t enough demand for it. The lack of demand is precisely because people drive instead. They drive because we make it convenient to drive by providing parking, gas stations, traffic signals timed to car speeds, car access on virtually every street, etc. Make driving less convenient by reducing parking, making most residential streets off limits to cars, and so forth. That in turn will increase public transit demand enough to justify building new subways, expanding bike infrastructure, and so forth. In the end we’ll have better, more livable cities if we got rid of most private cars. SB isn’t anti-car, it’s only anti-car in urban areas. Given all the problems cars have caused in cities, that to me isn’t a radical stance.

  • Joe R.

    Ample parking doesn’t necessarily make someone go out and buy a car if they have no need for it, but lack of parking will push many people who would otherwise own a vehicle to not own it. That’s my point. Lots of people in NYC own cars which they only use on weekends. If it were much harder to park, I suspect such people would get rid of their seldom used cars in a heartbeat. They would either rent a car when needed, or more likely look more seriously at other modes of transportation for the weekends (or just not make the weekend trips at all). In fact, the latter is a very valid way to solve many urban congestion problems. It’s better to make a trip in a city by public transit or bike than by car, but it’s better yet if we can eliminate that trip altogether. This can be done by encouraging telecommuting. It can also be done by having more attractive weekend activities within easy walking distance. NYC has lots of potential here to keep city residents from driving out of the city for recreation. Besides keeping recreational money in the city, we would solve a lot of traffic problems at the same time.

  • Andrew

    Do you seriously believe that failing to provide underground parking (at great public expense) at schools is illegal or is akin to failing to provide restrooms?

    Everybody needs to pee. Nobody needs to drive to school, and in fact most students don’t even have the option – either they’re too young to drive or they’re among the 56% of car-free households in New York City. Are you seriously suggesting that we as a city should be spending significant sums of money to ensure that a fraction of high school seniors don’t have to ride the same bus they rode to school up through junior year? If these people wish to drive, I have no objection, but they can be responsible for their own parking.

    The reason parents double park at schools is that they think their children are too good to ride the bus like everybody else. This city has an extensive transit system, and students ride free to and from school. You want the double parking to go away? Then start enforcing the law.

  • Andrew

    It does matter if one wants to address real concerns or just fringe ones. It’s also clear by a statement like yours you could care less if an individual can’t find a parking spot, which is thus a hostile point of view.

    The majority of New Yorkers couldn’t care less if an individual can’t find a parking spot. You’re the one who’s elevated a fringe concern (parking uber alles) to above and beyond all other concerns (such as the ability to safely and legally cross the street).

    Rome is great in that there are many areas off limits to vehicles, making for a rich walking experience, but this isn’t Rome.

    No, it’s not Rome. It’s New York. A city in which 56% of households don’t even own a single car, a city with an extensive public transit system, a city with heavy pedestrian activity. Yet you’re worried more about a few parking spaces than about whether pedestrians can safely cross the street to the bus stop!

    That said there are opportunities to remove public vehicle lanes and even more should be created on an urban design level, but the jest I always get here is that people are totally and unyieldingly against all personal v ehicles.

    I have no problem with personal vehicles. I have serious problems with the worship of personal vehicles above all else.

    It’s like I’m speaking to an extreme right-wing group who expects everyone to live just like they do.

    You are free to live as you like, but the availability of parking is simply not my problem, and you have no moral right to push it onto me or onto the 56% of NYC households without cars or the significant fraction of the remaining 44% who take responsibility for their own parking needs and park their cars off-street at their own expense.

    Suddenly it becomes apparent that you’re the one who’s pushing your preferences on everyone else.

    Go ahead and keep your (and others) pov despite my attempt to help SB gain credibility with accuracy and unbiased opinions, to help make streets safer for pedestrians. It’s obvious that this is a hostile place to comment and views like my own are not welcome.

    Unbiased opinions like the one that pedestrians who have to walk blocks out of their way to reach a safe and legal crossing are not actually walking out of their way? Unbiased opinions like the one that parking is as essential at schools as restrooms? You really do live in a bubble, it seems.

    One truth is, if people had a secure parking space they would hardly ever drive their vehicle, but instead with street cleaning they are forced onto the road once or twice every week. That encourages driving, increases road usage, congestion, pollution and potential danger.

    Anybody who “would hardly ever drive their vehicle” is far better off renting. Why does the city owe them free and seemingly unrestricted storage space – at public expense and to the detriment of pedestrians who need to cross the street – on which to store private property that they hardly ever use?

    The fact remains that availability of parking is a hard cap on driving. Car ownership rates on the Upper East Side are very low. Do you think this is because Upper East Siders are too poor to own cars, or maybe is it because it’s so hard to find parking?

    Aside from parking, do you know what else promotes driving? Telling people that they can’t safely or legally cross the street at every intersection, perhaps for half a mile or more. Reaching the business or bus stop directly across the street suddenly takes ten minutes.

    People will own a vehicle if they choose to own one, no matter what type of manipulation, like limiting parking, that people attempt to put on them, but there are other pov’s, other solutions, other factors that have to do with integration that’s in the best interest of everyone.

    Failing to build underground parking at schools is not “manipulation.” Allowing pedestrians to safely and legally cross the street at every intersection is not “manipulation.”

    You know what is “manipulation”? Demanding that everybody else provide you with a place to store your personal car.

    With this, I shall go ahead and unsubscribe from SB as there is abundant proof within the articles and of users that other pov’s, especially any that have to do with talking about vehicles and potential solutions, are truly unwelcome. ‘fewd’ yeah good alternative name there, so appropriate.

    Good riddance, and best of luck in your hunt for parking.

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