The Cost of Free Residential Parking


No Curbside Access for Trucks Create Traffic Jams Across the City

There is a source of congestion on every city street that has a solution. We need trucks to deliver goods to our stores, deliver food to our restaurants and to move furniture into and out of our homes. 100% of Manhattan’s goods enter the island by truck. But there is no curbside place for trucks on most of our streets to make their necessary deliveries. Instead, we see situations like this where trucks are forced to double park, congesting a street, accumulating lots of tickets (which get passed onto consumers), causing lots of horn honking which disrupts the neighborhood all while they are performing a necessary task to sustain our economy. This is the cost of turning a side street over to 100% free residential parking.

I’m not saying I want more trucks on the streets (in fact, I would love to see fewer Fresh Direct trucks). I just think folks should recognize that we need trucks to make the city work and through simple changes in parking regulations, we can accommodate them, improve quality of life by reducing congestion, noise and  the costs to small businesses that get passed on to consumers.

  • i can’t wait to see what happens when you try to sell this completely sensible proposal to your local community board, glenn. free curbside parking is a constitutional right, or did you not know that?

  • Well, it might start by asking local businesses and ALL local residents what they want from their streets. Unfortunately what usually happens in this case is that the only folks who show up are car owners that are afraid of losing their priviledge and businesses that (wrongfully) believe they need parking spaces to get customers. OR even if they are enlightened about how few of their customers drive to their stores and how much their suppliers pass on to them in costs related to parking tickets, they are afraid of local drivers penalizing them for their request. But it just takes some hard work to put this together. Anyone interested in helping, please join Upper Green Side if you live in the Upper East Side.

  • As Jonn Orcutt of Tri State often points out out, cities like Berlin and Paris are regulating the number and size of trucks that come into cities. It is even possible to require that trucks leave and enter the city full.

    I agree supporting Fresh Direct is supporting unnecessary trucks driving through our neighborhoods and taking businesses away from the stores that help make our communities walkable. I recently saw one of their ads vandalized to read: “Our food is fresh, our drivers are reckless.”

  • So what, exactly, is the proposal?

    I’m new to the blog, so if I’m coming late to the party, just send me in the right direction… but this post only points-up a problem.

  • AD

    My understanding of Glenn’s proposal was to get rid of a few parking spaces on blocks like these and make them loading-and-unloading zones for trucks.

  • Yes, the idea is to replace some residential parking spaces to pick-up and drop-off for trucks and passengers. This would allievate a number of issues at the cost of only a few free parking spaces per block.

  • Solid idea.

    Any thoughts on alleviating the whole “the 20 feet infront of my building is mine” contingent? Whichever stalls are taken will certainly be hardest-felt by the people who ( psychologically ) “own” them.

  • What I can’t believe is how LARGE the trucks are… I mean, in Japan, the delivery trucks are much more space-efficient.

  • Andrew

    Also when these large trucks and work vans are forced to double park, all of the cars use the bike lane to get around them, creating a dangerous situation.

    I think it’s time to say cars DON’T have free reign over every patch of road all over the city.

  • J:Lai

    Car owners and drivers are so highly priveleged compared to cyclists and pedestrians. It is heresy to try to reclaim some of the public space that has been dedicated to parking cars, but bicycle parking is few and far between, cars and trucks often park so that they block sidewalks for pedestrians, and a thousand other indignities.

    It seems crazy that the city provides any parking spaces on public streets. Private garages would be a more sensible way to accomodate the demand for parking spaces, and would make sure that parking is fairly priced into the cost of owning a vehicle.

  • i like it