Today’s Headlines

  • No Parking Spot? Here Are About 142,000 Reasons (NYT)
  • Twice as Many Parking Placards Issued as City Hall Thought (Sun
  • Auxiliary Cops See Parking Permit Cut as an Insult (NYT)
  • Chicago Gets More Than 400 New Traffic Enforcement Cams
  • Moynihan Station Plan is Sputtering (NYT
  • Cuomo Improves Albany Transparency Web Site (Times Union)
  • OPEC Tells Bush High Oil Prices Are His Fault (NYT)
  • NYC #2 on List of Cities Most Prepared for $4 Gallon (Common Current)
  • Bush: My 20-Car Motorcade Isn’t Helping the US to "Get Off Oil" (Huff Post)
  • EPA Drags Its Feet on Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Regs (Grist)
  • Climate Change Prompts Changes in Transportation Planning
  • What about the “bicyclist bomber” report this morning? There were NYPD RVs all over midtown today with cops giving funny looks to all the bicylists. Let’s see how long it takes for this to become a pretext for a fresh assault on the civil liberties of bicyclists.

    http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/06/police-investigate-explosion-in-times-square/index.html?ref=nyregion

  • Larry Littlefield

    As I’ve said, the parking permits are the key here.

    If Brodsky, Weiner et al had their way, access to Manhattan streets would be rationed the same way access to free parking is — by political connection. A different form of privilege than willingness and ability to pay, and one that provides no benefits for the rest of us.

    This is who and what they are. And their replacements will be their relatives or staffers.

    Another note — some of the biggest losers from the excess demand for street space are other drivers. Let’s say you are a prosecutor of judge who has a real need to drive your own car for security reasons. They are competing with 120,000 unnecessary placards.

  • Dave

    Lost in the discussion about the 142,000 placards is the abuse of them and those placard-holders who use them to park anywhere/anytime.
    At the very least limit police placards to a certain radius of a police station; limit bureaucrats to Mon-Fri parking and to an area below Canal.
    When I see illegally parked cars on lower Broadway on a Saturday, and then see the driver return to the car with shopping bags, it drives me nuts.
    But I never say anything since I don’t want some off-duty cop on a power trip punching me out. But there should be an IAD (or other non-police or non-government) website to report such abuse with fines and sanctions for the driver.

  • ddartley

    Yet another reason to embed ALL Emergency Responders’ ID tags (police shields, etc.) with a RFID tag that will open any MTA entrance point, manned or unmanned, at any time, regardless of whether the Responder is on duty or off. It would be both an on-the-job tool AND a free-transit perk. And it would make the whole transit system safer.

    Here’s from the Times article about Auxiliary Cops’ placards:

    “Auxiliary Police Officer Michael R. Stewart, who is assigned to the 13th Precinct in Manhattan, said ‘very few of the rank and file’ auxiliaries had the permits. More helpful than parking permits, he said, would be for the city to distribute MetroCards permitting auxiliaries to ride the subways free.

    Currently, the officers are granted free access to the subway only if they are in uniform. But most of them feel that riding in uniform but without a radio, which they pick up at their precincts, is dangerous.

    ‘We pay two dollars each way, coming and going,’ Officer Stewart said.”

  • ddartley

    And I forgot my usual point that RFID tags would be way better than the current system of distributing MetroCards (which Auxiliaries apparently don’t get) in many ways (I’ll spare you the list today).

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    Here’s an interesting Assembly response to the funding angle of congestion pricing: tax the millionaires:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/06/nyregion/06millionaire.html

    Odd that Joe Bruno’s response is that the thought should “send shivers down the spine of every overburdened, hard-working New York taxpayer.”

    Of course it would do nothing to reduce congestion.

  • drose

    Angus,

    That bill is simply a red herring thrown up by Brodsky and Silver, to immunize themselves against the claim that they are not doing anything for transportation. It will likely be a one-house bill, but that won’t stop them from claiming they’ve done all they can do for transportation, but big-bad Spitzer and Bruno don’t want to help.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Tax increases are coming at the federal, state and local level, to pay the debts and pensions of the past. But not until after November.

    Meanwhile, congestion pricing is the only transportation money out there, and we need billions more.

  • Dave

    Can someone do the calculation of how much could be raised by the sale of Residential Parking Permits? End the free give-away of parking spaces that we city residents pay to clean, police and maintain. Figure $125/year and a bargain at that.

  • Larry Littlefield

    (Can someone do the calculation of how much could be raised by the sale of Residential Parking Permits?)

    It would be a massive effort, but someone would first have to figure out how many free parking spaces there are.

    I think what the placard issue shows is that we already have a permit system. It’s just that the permits are free, and only certain people are allowed to have them.

  • JF

    I’m interested in knowing what percentage of the city’s metered parking spaces are “spoken for” by these permits. That would, of course, include de facto and de jure “permit parking only” spaces.

  • Dave

    If we can figure out the number of spaces; parking meters et al. and derive a financial benefit to the city, then maybe we can convince the city to implement permit parking city-wide.

    Of course it would follow that the issuance of a parking placard would then be a taxable fringe benefit to the police, bureaucrats etc.

    What would also be interesting to calculate is the number of city residents falsely claiming residency elsewhere to escape city taxes. If we limit parking permits to city residents (and taxpayers) maybe tax revenues would increase?

    The fact that the city refuses to investigate or publicly act on these areas is a mystery to me.

  • Larry Littlefield

    (What would also be interesting to calculate is the number of city residents falsely claiming residency elsewhere to escape city taxes. If we limit parking permits to city residents (and taxpayers) maybe tax revenues would increase?)

    I assure you that the number one source of residency tax fraud cases is rent regulated apartments — people who claim their primary residence is elsewhere for tax purposes, and here for rent regulation purposes.

    (The fact that the city refuses to investigate or publicly act on these areas is a mystery to me.)

    Did you ever hear of “politician row” in the Bronx? It is a street behind Van Cortlandt Park, totally cut off from the city, where the lots are partially in Pelham and the owners can attend Pelham schools. By reputation the neighborhood is occupied primarily by public officials legally required to live in the city.