Finally, Market Rates for Manhattan Street Parking


Arnold Diaz confronts some Avis employees on his "Shame Shame Shame" segment for Fox 5 News. He catches them apparently charging motorists $25 to park on a public street. This Avis branch is on the same block as the Beacon
Theater, where employees have been taking up street parking during the day and selling the spaces to concert goers at night. The story quotes the Department of Transportation as saying the practice is "totally illegal." Take a look at this outrageous undercover video.

What would Shoup say?

  • Heavens to Mergatroid

    Arnold Diaz is one of my heroes.

  • Boogiedown

    On a completely unrelated matter, the lights went out this afternoon here in the Bronx (and I believe elsewhere in the city as well) and I went out to see what was happening. I live at 158th Street and Grand Concourse, near Yankee Stadium, Bronx Borough Hall and various court buildings and lawyer’s offices. I have never seen so many people on the streets. And, perhaps trained by Streetsblog to see this scene differently than other occasions when the traffic lights were not working, I noticed a very strange thing: while I expected to see traffic armageddon, actually things were moving quite smoothly. Granted, traffic moved slowly both nort-south and east-west, but it moved. Nobody stopped, everybody made their way through the intersection, INCLUDING the pedestrians, and nobody was directing the traffic. Drivers and pedestrians were able to negotiate the intersection for themselves. Interesting, I thought. This must be something like what traffic calming could be like. Just wanted to share this with other streetsblog readers.

  • And they say people won’t pay! Are the lights on in the UES yet?

  • Fascinated

    I’m sorry, but that is one of the funniest videos I’ve seen in a while. I especially enjoy the call to EMS.

  • fred

    Shame, Shame, Shame; Shame on You: Arnold Diaz:

  • Ha!
    Don’t believe the hype. Arnold Diaz is a class 1 hypocrite, and a major abuser of his press pass. He parks illegally all day long in front of the Fox 5 studios on 67th and 68th streets. I’d love to see another of the undercover reporters shame him on their reports

    Exhibit #1

    Exhibit #2

    Exhibit #3

  • galvo

    i like the expose on the Avis employees selling public parking spaces. I hope she gets charged for the ambulance call and medical treatment.
    selling press placards would be equivalent to this, not improper use of press placard. both wrong but one quite a bit worse than the other.

  • I’m not outraged by people who are trying to make some money. (but they should get in trouble) No, there is a bigger issue here: I want to know why Avis gets to park their rental cars on the street all day for free? Why should Avis get to make money off of public parking like that!?? I mean the company is no better than these employees in that respect. I wonder if Fox will bother do an expose on that? (doubt it!)

  • Avis needs to rent a parking lot or something…

  • Shoup would say this is an example of the pathology (not quite the right word) that results from underpricing of curbside spaces. The Avis system allocates a scarce resource according to the ability to pay, which is the way we allocate gasoline and just about everything else in a market economy. It’s also the way we are proposing the streetspace in the congestion zone be allocated. Anyone who has enough money can come to West 76th Street and find parking immediately, without circling and circling and circling the block.

    The other way to allocate on-street parking amounts to rationing: It’s underpriced and impossible to find.

  • Every parking garage in the city uses up streetspace for their cars either parking or up on the sidewalk, particularly around 7-9am.

    Charge market rates…or at least get parking to 85% occupancy

  • JF

    Oooh, I hate that Avis agency, and the other car rental agencies and garages between Broadway and Amsterdam. They’re constantly parking and standing cars on the sidewalk, right in front of pedestrians trying to walk down the street. I’d be happy to see them all shut down.

    That said, it’s a classic case of subsidized, but still scarce, commodities being resold on the black market. And I’m sure the cops know about it and don’t do anything. I bet the Avis management takes a cut too (at least the management of that location).

    I’d like to see the parking spaces on that street rented at market rates, but even at market rates I don’t think that Avis deserves any of the spaces. I’m not sure you know, Susan, but they have a big garage right there; that’s where they put the cars when they move them off the street.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    I guess galvo goes by the Voltaire rule that both the poor and the rich are allowed to sleep under the bridges in the rain. The Avis clowns are working poor stiffs trying to hustle up a couple extra bucks with a street scam. Arnold Diaz is a millionaire talking head who does sort of a “I’m shocked to find there is gambling here (your winnings sir)” act. Arnold could afford to put it in the lot.

  • Davis

    I’ve always wanted to see Arnold run a sting operation on a corporate CEO or someone in his own income bracket. Not gonna happen.

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    To be pedantic, it was Anatole France who wrote, “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread,” in his novel The Red Lily. Of course, he actually wrote the book in French.

    So your point is “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike from reselling public parking spaces for $25”? But just because the people doing the actual selling seem to be low-level service employees, I’m not convinced that there isn’t someone rich on the take.

  • Steve

    Off-point, but on West 77th cars exiting the underground garages of the rental agencies and parking lots often pull into the bike lane before looking to see if there are oncoming bikes. Here’s an example:

    This stream of traffic probably includes more than its share of out-of-towners who don’t get the bike lane thing. There should be a requirement that underground parking garages post signs warning exiting motorists to yield not only to pedestrians on the sidewalk but also to oncoming bicycle traffic, particularly where the car must cross the bike lane in order to enter the street.

  • Johnny Walker

    #16 writes:
    “There should be a requirement that underground parking garages post signs warning exiting motorists to yield not only to pedestrians on the sidewalk but also to oncoming bicycle traffic,”

    That is a good idea.

    Would we all agree that this website should also post a similar notice requesting cyclists to yield to pedestrians on streets and stay off of sidewalks entirely.

    Otherwise, you leave yourself open to criticism of espousing double standards. “What’s good for the goose, should be good for the gander”.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    Once again I yield to Angus. I’m pretty good at remember the basics of the quotations but the attributions have always been my Achilles heal.
    That said, this is pretty petty street crime, I’m thinking there isn’t a connection to the owners, could be though, you never know. If one of those guys pulls this off once a day that $25 is pretty big to them.
    My beef is with the Arnold Diaz fake consumerism, never, ever attack anyone with power, it is Fox after all. Usually they are attacking public servants, at least in this case they are after the private sector.
    Arnold has studied the work of John Stoessel famous for crushing the little people who populate public sector bureaucracies. Same look in his eye.

  • galvo

    i don’t lower the standards because people are “working stiffs”. i guess you assume that because a person reads streets blog they don’t have a working stiff background. i also wouldn’t let nypd slide for bribery or corruption even though their starting salary is probably lower than Avis. profiting from the illegal use of public resources should be exposed on all levels. a judge was convicted and jailed for receiving bribes for his family court decisions this year.

  • Moynahan

    Avis does park in a garage, they take up spaces in there and pay at a discounted rate, billed as much as $80,000 or more each month.

    I am not mad for anyone trying to make a quick dollar. Obviously, neither are the tens of people who shelled out their 25 bucks. It’s a real 2 way stret here, folks. Whose feeling sorry for those ADULTS willing to pay? Are you kidding me? NYPD do NOT give them a break. The officer does so at his/her OWN discretion. Some will ticket each car at like 115 a pop, others, half and half. But you know why Avis will still park anyway? Because that location is their busiest location in the city, and brings them in a nice cool million dollars every month, which makes them willing to get ticketed and towed. It’s a numbers game. The managers wished they could get a cut on half the bull they go through with NYPD, upper management, and distressed customers. I would know this because I have been a patron to that particular location for years, and I have come to know the workers there, the good and the ugly.

    Unfortunately, when you live in a congested city, anything and everything goes. If the people stop booking 700 reservations for a location that only holds 400 cars, then they can and will stay off the street. Otherwise, you sound VERY foolish to be mad at someone making profit off another who does not mind. Laugh instead, this was pure amusement to watch.



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