Residential Parking Plan Falls With Congestion Pricing

We haven’t really talked about it on Streetsblog, but when state lawmakers killed congestion pricing, they also nixed the city’s proposed Residential Parking Permit program.

The Brooklyn Paper reports that some still want RPPs, with or without pricing:

To generate support for the now-dead $8 fee to drive into Manhattan, the city had offered to sell the parking permits, saying it would prevent people from parking their cars in residential neighborhoods just outside the congestion-pricing zone. Some residents of those communities refuse to let the permit plan go.

“Residential parking permits are not going to die here. They’re too important,” said Sue Wolfe, president of the Boerum Hill Association. “We now have all these people circling for parking. If you work in Manhattan or Downtown Brooklyn, you should be taking public transportation.”

In order to institute RPPs, city officials would need to go back to Albany.

Photo: charles.hope/Flickr

  • Why would Albany need to approve residential parking permits for the City of New York? How is this a state issue?

  • JK

    Why are local speed limits, red light and speed enforcement cameras, traffic calming and congestion pricing state issues? Who knows*? They just are.

    *I’ll skip the long political/historical exegesis. Others can go wild with that.

  • lee

    the way I read the VTL the stat should not have any say in RPP. The relevant sections are 1640 and 1642. As a city with more than 1million people NYC should be able to make its own parking rules.

    Can’t post a direct link because it uses javascript.

    Scroll down to VAT.

  • Mark

    I have many unanswered questions about residential parking permits. Let’s appoint a commission to study the matter for several months. We’ll pick apart the idea, making it a pilot program and limiting it to a three-block area on the Upper East Side. Then we can have a vote in the city council, after which we send it to the state legislature for non-action.

  • PayingItNow

    Congestion pricing is legitimately a state issue, given its impact on regional transportation and given that a large plurality of those who would pay are not NYC residents. In principle, I really don’t think a case could be made that the legislature had no business sticking its nose in. Granted, this is a difficult principle to support given the basic procedural illegitimacy of so much that goes on in Albany.

  • @PayingItNow, I see your position but it seems to me that argument could be used to deprive NYC of local jurisdiction on just about any livable streets initiative here.

  • The circlers have been there for decades. Wherre was Boerum Hill Association on CP?

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    I think Boerum Hill Association, like most of the other neighborhood groups in downtown Brooklyn were focused on fighting developers. And, like the Cobble Hill Association abutting them, although they have long “advocated” tolling the bridges, when faced with actually doing it in place of merely talking about it, they discovered that there were opponents. The opponents made a lot of noise and cried very loudly. Is that “kvelling” in Yiddish (I’m focusing on Yiddish in place of Italian for Passover)? Then the tepid character of our supporters came forth.

    We should make a list of supporters in two groups, warm and tepid. Unfortunately, no real “champion” ever stepped forth for CP.

    Ultimately the RPP support will break down a lot like the CP support, a function of community residential density. And, again unfortunately in my book, much of the CP support came from people opposed to density and development making further political coalitions problematic.

  • PayingItNow

    “Is that “kvelling” in Yiddish (I’m focusing on Yiddish in place of Italian for Passover)? ”

    Nope. To kvell is to show pleasure and pride (canonically, in the accomplishments of one’s children). You’re thinking of kvetching, which means whining and complaining persistently.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    Thanks for the clarification bro., this stuff is rather important to me. Initially I thought kvetching, but it didn’t have the temporal component implanted in my brain. Though it occurs to me that there is lots of kvelling occurring here as well but I’m thinking it will be mostly at the Brodsky passover this year.

    There will be other passovers.

  • Larry Littlefield

    (There will be other passovers.)

    And other kvelling.

    Since paying for things is unpopular, I suggest that livable streets advocates have done their share of being grown ups for a while. Let, Brodsky, Fider and Weiner — the stand-up opponents — convince their gutless breathern to oppose alternate pain. They’ve promised after all. I plan on shutting up if I agree, but objecting if I do not.

    In the meantime, the streets are free, the crossings are free, the parking is (for everyone in many places and selected people in all places) free. Some people are using more than their share. Let’s change that right now, and dare them to oppose it.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I meant convince their gutless brethern to support alternate pain.

  • Ian D

    No way to RPP. All we’ll do is create a new class of people who feel entitled to use public space for their own personal benefit while scoffing at the idea of paying for the hidden cost of their actions.

    A very wise woman (to whom I’m married) once pointed out to me that every time “we” want to take a fresh perspective or change things for the better, we are confronted with those who feel entitled because “that’s the way it’s always been.” Of course, I want those people to go up to a family grieving after a pedestrian fatality and tell them that they should get over it because “that’s the way it’s always been.” And it’s funny that always doesn’t mean “always,” it means “from the time that I became entitled.”

    Responding to Sue of the Boerum Hill Assn., sure those people circling around should have taken public transportation. But so the people eligible for a permit, who live within easy reach of the public transit network. Take for example… me. Why should I get privileged parking for my car when I live in one of the most transit-rich neighborhoods in the USA? Won’t that entitlement just encourage me to use my car more, not less? (It will, just like the $8 fee that I pay at the tunnel convinces me not to drive.)

  • Felix

    RPP is good if done in a way that discourages driving, rather than just commuting. It’s also good if it raises a lot of money. But as a public space giveaway? No way.

  • Dave

    “create a new class of people who feel entitled”

    No, we already have that class of people and my bet is that more than a third of them neither register their cars in the city nor pay city taxes. They are the entitled few who benefit from the curbside give-away at zero cost to themselves. Shame on them; and are you one of them Ian?

    We need to curtail the Brodsky-esque commuters, those who illegally register cars (and themselves for that matter) outside the city. First dibs for curbside spaces should rightly go to law-abiding city residents.

    Every other major city in the country (and some not so large ones) successfully implement RPP. Why do we listen to the NIMBY-types who refuse to accept that NY is not so different from the rest of our country that it can’t work here.

    RPP now. Perhaps we will see fewer cars parking on the streets and higher tax revenues from “newly” registered citizens.

  • Dave,

    At least as conceptualized as part of CP, RPP was low- or no-cost. I heard quite a bit of outrage from curbside parkers at the DoT’s RPP workshops at the notion that people mighte be required to “pay to park on our own streets.” RPP will only increase that sense of entitlement.

    I’ll reiterate an idea I posted a while back. Meter most or all spaces, let those who register and insure their car at a NYC address purchase meter scrip at a discount. Monetize the benefit so it is transparent and explicit, then make the curbside parkers justify their subsidy to the rest of us.

  • galvo

    plenty of increased rpp areas in brodskys Westchester. Most are near metro-north stations. The apartments dont have enough off-street parking, the residents are in competition with the commuters.


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