Your Opportunity to Change New York City Parking Policy

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What if you were given the chance to help erase up to
a quarter of the traffic on your neighborhood streets? Would you take it?

Transportation
Alternatives found that an astounding 45 percent of the traffic in Park Slope and 28 percent in SoHo is
cruising for parking. Many other neighborhoods are equally plagued with cruising and double parking. Now there is a terrific chance for us to actually do something about this mess. The Department of Transportation is inviting New Yorkers to help formulate new parking policies for New
York City
streets. As part of
the mayor’s congestion pricing plan, the DOT is considering big changes in curbside parking rules
for the seven community boards bordering the pricing zone.

DOT appears on the
verge of proposing Residential Parking Permits and meter prices targeted to create turn-over, and eliminate cruising traffic and double parking. It could well be the biggest laboratory for curbside parking reform in the world. If the changes work in these neighborhoods, they will be spread throughout New York City.
It’s an amazing opportunity for livable streets advocates. Instead of fighting for decades for these traffic busting changes, there is a chance to win them in a few short years. But DOT needs to hear from you
at their parking workshops.

One
person can make a big difference at these workshops.

At the first round of workshops held late last year, I was the only non-car owner at my table of eight at Harlem’s Alhambra Ballroom. But me being there changed
the discussion from one of endless demands for more free parking space — which I heard at another table, as my group was being organized — to a more
considered discussion of the implications of DOT’s proposed changes.

By the end, a majority of the motorists at my table supported DOT’s suggested changes. More than half of the households in New York City do not have a car. But non-motorists should have a say in the parking changes that affect them as bicyclists, bus riders, pedestrians and people who breathe the air. Take a couple of hours and show up. Your voice will be heard. The next workshop is the Upper East Side Wednesday January 23 followed by Harlem/Morningside Heights on Thursday January 24th. Both at 6 p.m. See Streetsblog’s calendar for the entire list of parking workshops.

Photo: AGI500/Flickr or Alapan

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