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Hell’s Kitchen Parking Plan Continues to Confound

1:42 PM EST on November 6, 2007


The Daily News has picked up on the city's court battle to bring some 20,000 new parking spaces to the far West Side, a plan that -- along with at least one or two other notorious examples -- is directly at odds with the Bloomberg administration's ambitious environmental agenda.

Local residents are suing to block Bloomberg's rezoning plan for thearea because of the extra parking, and environmental and transportationgroups also call it bad policy.

"It sounds to me like thedevelopment people are not talking to the environmental people at CityHall," said Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan), who representsthe area. "It would encourage more people to drive cars into thecentral business district. If you build off-street parking, they willcome."

The Bloomberg administration says it hopes most workers and residents will rely on mass transit to get there.

"Therecent rezoning of Hudson Yards, which was done concurrently with theapproval of the expansion of the No. 7 subway, will promote theemergence of a new public-transportation-oriented residential andcommercial community with considerable affordable housing and publicgreen space," said mayoral spokesman John Gallagher.

In aspeech to the Manhattan Institute last week, Bloomberg said extendingthe 7 train to Hudson yards will make it "the next Gold Coast of thiscity."

Gottfried, though, said more parking will create morecongestion. "If increased development is going to be accompanied byincreased automobile traffic, it will strangle itself," he said.

Stateenvironmental regulators had not objected to the rezoning until criticscomplained in August. Now state Environmental Conservation CommissionerPete Grannis has ordered the city to study how parking limits affectair pollution.

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Photo: jay d/Flickr

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