Hell’s Kitchen Parking Plan Continues to Confound

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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 the
area because of the extra parking, and environmental and transportation
groups also call it bad policy.

"It sounds to me like the
development people are not talking to the environmental people at City
Hall," said Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan), who represents
the area.
"It would encourage more people to drive cars into the
central business district. If you build off-street parking, they will
come."

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

"The
recent rezoning of Hudson Yards, which was done concurrently with the
approval of the expansion of the No. 7 subway, will promote the
emergence of a new public-transportation-oriented residential and
commercial community with considerable affordable housing and public
green space," said mayoral spokesman John Gallagher.

In a
speech to the Manhattan Institute last week, Bloomberg said extending
the 7 train to Hudson yards will make it "the next Gold Coast of this
city."

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

State
environmental regulators had not objected to the rezoning until critics
complained in August. Now state Environmental Conservation Commissioner
Pete Grannis has ordered the city to study how parking limits affect
air pollution.

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Photo: jay d/Flickr

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