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Bill de Blasio

Monday Night: Have Your Say on Parking Policy in Brooklyn

2:37 PM EST on February 1, 2008

Hot on the heels of this week's neighborhood parking workshops, DOT and several members of Brooklyn's City Council delegation are hosting a forum about residential parking permits. An RPP program with teeth could go a long way towards curbing traffic in residential neighborhoods, and this event is a big opportunity for livable streets advocates to make their voices heard. The forum will take place Monday, 7 p.m. at the St. Francis College auditorium on Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights. Brownstoner has the details:

The town hall-style meeting will focus on whether the permits, which would probably cost a small annual fee, could help alleviate curbside parking problems and traffic in Downtown. Council Members David Yassky, Laetitia James and Bill de Blasio have organized the event, which is expected to draw several hundred residents, and DOT commish Janette Sadik-Khan is scheduled to attend. Councilman de Blasio sees the forum as the first step in developing parking strategies for all of Brooklyn. "Lack of a coherent parking strategy has been an ongoing problem in Brooklyn," de Blasio told us. "I think this forum represents a step in the right direction, and I look forward to extending this conversation to communities throughout the borough."

As John Kaehny wrote on Streetsblog last month, bringing a different perspective to these events can change the tenor of the debate:

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.

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