$100 for a Year’s Worth of Parking

A new report [pdf] from the New York City Independent Budget Office explores the idea of a residential permit parking program:

Under the proposal, permit parking zones would be created in selected areas of the city. Within these zones, only permit holders would be eligible for on-street parking for more than a few hours at a time. Permits would be sold primarily to neighborhood residents, although they might also be made available to nonresidents and to local businesses. IBO has assumed an annual charge of $100, with administrative costs equal to 20 percent of revenue.

Opponents might argue that it is inherently unfair for city residents to have to pay for on-street parking in their own neighborhoods. Opponents also might worry that despite the availability of public transportation or off-street parking, businesses located in or adjacent to permit zones may experience a loss of clientele, particularly from outside the neighborhood, because more residents would take advantage of on-street parking. Some opponents may note that in cities and towns that already have residential permits, it appears to have worked best in neighborhoods where single-family homes predominate.

The report claims that two million dollars will be generated the first year of the program, but it fails to mention $46 million in parking revenue that could be reaped if government workers didn’t park for free.

  • brent

    “Opponents might argue that it is inherently unfair for city residents to have to pay for on-street parking in their own neighborhoods.”
    What about opponents who argue that it is inherently unfair to use the tax dollars of people who don’t own vehicles to pay for other people’s automobile storage? Also 2 million dollars a year seams an extremely low revenue sum.

  • Charlie D.

    Typically, side roads are designated as residential permit only and main roads are either metered or time-limited (i.e. 2 hour parking only) and open to all users (since that is where most of the businesses are anyway). In addition, residents usually get a visitor placard that can be placed inside the windshield of someone’s car who is visiting so that they can park in the residential permit zone.

  • James

    I’d pay well over $100 a year. Long overdue.

  • Boogiedown

    Why should the city provide free parking at all? (and at $100 a year, I call this free parking) The technology exists (munimeter) to charge for parking on ALL city streets. I say charge EVERYONE for their automobile storage!

  • They’d have to charge a lot more than $100 to ensure demand does not exceed supply. Charge market prices or you will have an lottery system that only a few will “win”

  • If we are going to put parking in the hands of residents, why not first decide if a majority of residents even want parking? I’m pretty sure my block would opt to reclaim (for deliveries and wider sidewalks) one if not both parking lanes, given how few of us ever use street parking. God knows we’ve tried to get the city to do something about the 2-hour circus of pathetic motorists scrambling for spots during street sweeping every morning. Sleeping in their cars, honking, arguing with each other.

    And they say subways will blight a neighborhood.

  • No Free Lunch

    NYC should be heading towards metering at least the four to six spots on side streets closest to retail strips plagued by double parking. Visiting motorists look for parking on side streets just as they do on arterials.

    Given the outcry over the DOT plan to create one way streets in Park Slope, it could be the time to try 15% vacancy goals and metering some side street spaces, combined with some kind of auctioned RPP on some streets.

    Agreed that $100 is a meaningless and arbitrary amount to charge for RPP. Off-street parking costs in NYC costs $2400 to $4000 a year and is often inconvenient. How can convenient (if you find it) parking go for less than a tenth of that. RPP without some kind of sensible pricing will not help and will waste lots of energy.

  • galvoguy

    i think it will encourage residents to get cars and store them on the street of NY. the no 1 reason people don’t own a car in manhattan is the parking situation, this will just make their search for a spot a lot easier. 24 hour muni meters would make it fair for everyone and not encourage car ownership. The neighborhoods that don’t have the resident permits would then be overwhelmed with non residents cruising for a parking spot. tarrytown ny has resident parking only in the area surrounding the business district. Many business owners say the customer will not come back due to the inadequate parking. tarrytown ny in westchester has very poor public transporttion so cars are necessarry. the residentparking is along streets with single family houses, almost all have driveways. how they were able to get the states approval for permit parking eascapes me.

  • jeez

    no it won’t. rpp’s wouldn’t do a thing to increase parking supply in nyc. not unless they were priced absurdly high.

    at any rate, you control the parking supply with the price point if you want.

  • MD

    Parking shouldn’t be any cheaper than a monthly metrocard. That’s what people who are too poor to own cars have to pay to get around town.

  • Don Norte

    RPP Programs are effective if the neighborhood is lower density.
    The standard in the parking profession is that a minimum of 25% of the vehicles must be displaced. The question then arises do those 25% move to adjacent streets or pay garage prices?

    Don Norte
    Parking Services & Development Officer
    City of West Hollywood

  • john mason

    Dublin is just starting a policy of charging double for large SUVs which they term “seriously useless vehicles.”

  • Anonymous from EU

    I pay $314 a year for residential parking.

    If we compare population density of my home town and New York City, $4500 a year in NYC would be equivalent to what I pay.

  • Dave

    My two cents:
    – All neighborhoods should be covered to avoid spill-over effect in adjacent neighborhoods without permits
    – $100 is absurdly low; try $100 a month which is still a bargain compared to private garages
    – Ensure that permits are only granted to NYC taxpayers and watch all those Jersey plates diappear from those city residents who register their cars (and perhaps claim residency) outside the city
    – Take away some spots to creat delivery zones on residential streets to address the double-parking issue. Four spots mid-block should do it and Muni-meter them

  • lee

    I agree with Dave’s last comments about all the out of state registered cars. I am seriously considering ratting out other tentants in my building if I could figure out who to complain to.

    To previous comments by jeez and galvoguy, RPP cannot increase the supply of parking spaces, only building more can do that, but it can limit demand.

    Unfortunately, I think it will only limit demand for parking among the middle class, if such a thing exists in ny anymore.
    What I mean is that whoever can afford $1+mil for a condo on 16th St between 3&4 can afford a car and an RPP.

  • Happy Camper

    How much would it cost to store a car in one of the garage in the city for one year ?

    Thats the market rate and that should be the rate for every one . IN fact the paring in the street shoudl cost more sinece it takes away public space.
    since when is it OK to store your fridge or your grnadmother bed on the street for free? Same here.. Just because the bed has wheels does not make it more acceptable ..

  • lee

    garage rates vary greatly depending on location.

    The market rate for parking in Midtown, or even the LES is not the same market rate for park slope.

  • Rob

    This would be good if it was tied to a system like Tokyo’s where it would not be permissible to own a car within the city limits without having a reserved spot, public or private.

  • rlb

    “Opponents also might worry that despite the availability of public transportation or off-street parking, businesses located in or adjacent to permit zones may experience a loss of clientele”

    This concern and the uncertainty it creates seems to be a recurring problem. Are there any studies out there that have measured the means of transportation used by clientele in a given neighbourhood?
    The results of the study would likely change if the concern-creating initiative were enacted, but it seems like it could have the result of assuaging or justifying those fears.

  • Boon Doggle

    rlb – that is a great idea of something useful Transportation Alternatives could do. They already did it in SoHo, I can’t imagine it requires a huge amount of resources. They should do it in other retail areas – Park Slope, Fulton Mall, 86th St (Bay Ridge), downtown Jamaica, The Hub (Bronx), Fordham Road (Bronx), etc. Businesses would have a much better sense of what they should really be worried about.

    I have a feeling that in regards to a lack of available parking for customers (however many actually drive), they should be most worried about THEMSELVES parking in front of their own stores and feeding the meters!

  • Brooklyn boy

    It works in other cities. Large cities. Overcrowded neighborhoods.
    Boston has a system where your car registration sticker color has to match the street signs. Each neighborhood (or Community Board area) has a different color. Night-time parking enforcement towes away cars immediately if not “approved” for parking. The city likes that idea because you will not be able to have out-of-state plates and insurance. You must have a locally registered vehicle to qualify. That alone cuts out hundreds of insurance “cheats”. Cars will disappear for that reason alone.
    All in all, it’s a grand idea.

  • A. Dotmolsky

    This sort of thing is why no one in gov’t takes the IBO seriously. Whatever the merits of RPP might be as a policy, if an agency went to OMB or city hall with a proposal for an enormously complex and controversial program that would _gross_ $2 million in fees they’d get laughed out of the room.

    Anyone with even minimal awareness of transportation issues in NY and any cost/benefit chops at all would rip the IBO report to shreds in seconds. Pure fluff and stupidity.

    This is not to say RPP itself is a bad idea. It’s just that any implementation of it would have to consider the costs of implementing it and the market for it (both at least an order of magnitude greater than $100 a year per permit IMHO). The city might decide to set a lower fee than the financials indicate for policy reasons, but I highly doubt that would happen.

  • lee

    Re: 21 NYC has about 12times the population in Boston. I’m sure there would be huge scaling issues. How much is it going to cost to have all these extra tow trucks patrolling the 57(?) community boards every day?

    In any RPP plan how would one decide how many permits are issued and to whom?

  • Brooklyn Boy

    Re:23. Why don’t you go up & down a couple of square blocks and count the out-of-state plates on the cars parked overnight.
    This “Parking process” will quickly eliminate thousands of “guests” that claim to live elsewhere. Many hundreds of them will suddenly re-register their vehicle in NYC so they can park and the added bonus is that when they are involved in a traffic acccident, they will have the proper insurance to cover their victim. That alone is worth any investment!

  • Lawrence

    Generally I agree with the merits raised by Brooklyn Boy. The possibility to doing away with all of those illigitimate ‘out-of-state plates’ alone is worth having parking permits.

    Washington DC has a resident parking permit system too. In order to get the permit (I don’t know how much it costs) the applicant must be able to show residency in that neighborhood (property deed or lease)they are then isseud a window sticker.

    There is one problem: having guests from out of state can be problematic, since they theoretically can’t park for more than a few hours (no guest passes are provided). When I go home to DC to visit my mother, I need to park in her off-street space and she has to park on the street. This is OK because she has an off-street space – what about those without one who have guests? I also have to report that DC enforces the restrictions sporatically at best, at least in my mothers’ neighborhood.

    Guest passes come to mind, but they present a huge potential for abuse


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