Times Calls for End to Free Parking Monopoly

One of the most repeated criticisms of congestion pricing is that the city isn’t taking relatively simple measures within its control to ease traffic-related problems. The Times today offers its take on three of them.

79162076_8fc8fcec71.jpgTaxi stands. Anyone who has tried to get a taxi in New York in the rain, particularly at rush hour, knows that the system is broken. Hailers maneuver along the street, and to alternate corners, to get an edge over other taxi-seekers who have been waiting longer. Taxis waste gasoline, and needlessly spew out fumes, as they cruise for fares. Taxi stands, which work just fine in Paris, could be strategically placed around New York. People and cabs would line up. It would be civilized.

Residential parking permits, for a fee. Relatively few New Yorkers take on the expense and hassles of owning a car in the city — which is good, since it encourages the use of public transit. But there are still plenty of drivers, including many from out of town, who take advantage of the city’s generosity and park on the streets free. The city could get more cars off the street and raise badly needed money for mass-transit improvements if it set aside spots for residents for an annual fee. The mayor has not ruled out residential permits as part of a congestion pricing plan. But as cities from Berkeley, Calif., to Chicago and Baltimore have demonstrated, the idea works on its own.

Take away parking permits from city employees. Those vehicles that cavalierly park in front of hydrants or bus stops all too often do so with the impunity that comes with a privileged card placed on the dashboard. Virtually every city agency issues these permits, and there is no reliable count of how many are floating around. But they number in the thousands, including a lot of counterfeits. It’s time to end the free parking. This is New York, not Monopoly.

Photo: Usonian/Flickr

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

DOT: Relax Brooklyn, Parking Permits Not Just for Downtown

|
Borough Prez Candidate De Blasio Qualifies His Opposition to Congestion Pricing A crowd of nearly 200 filed into the auditorium at St. Francis College in downtown Brooklyn last night, ready to pop a few questions to DOT about residential parking programs. But first, three of Brooklyn’s City Council members gave some of their first public […]

Congestion Pricing Q&A With Rohit Aggarwala, Part 4

|
DOT’s Dani Simons and City Hall’s Director of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, Rohit Aggarwala, at a joint hearing of Manhattan Community Boards 4, 5 and 6 on July 9; one of many public hearings where Bloomberg Administration officials have met with communities to discuss congestion pricing. Tonight, Brooklyn Community Board 6 hosts a similar public […]

Paterson Backs Pricing, Introduces Bill in Albany

|
David Paterson is going to do right by his old State Senate district after all. New York’s new governor settled any doubts about his position on congestion pricing this afternoon, introducing a bill that follows the recommendations of the Traffic Congestion Mitigation Commission. The Daily Politics has the scoop: "Congestion pricing addresses two urgent concerns […]