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DOT Asks Public for Ideas on Shoupian Parking Program

meters.jpgMore livable streets news out of Manhattan's Community Board 2. This Thursday, at the request of DOT, CB2 will hold a public strategy session to consider how variable-rate parking might work in the district. If participants determine that such a program would benefit the neighborhood, said CB2's Ian Dutton, DOT has pledged to implement a six-month pilot program starting in September.

Variable-rate parking, advocated most famously by UCLA professor Donald Shoup and given a boost last week by Transportation Alternatives, applies a market-based mechanism to meter prices, charging more during peak hours. The policy promises to cut congestion by reducing the distance drivers travel cruising for spots, which according to T.A.'s recent study [PDF] adds up to millions of miles throughout the city each year.

In flyers distributed for the meeting, DOT calls the proposal "Peak Rate Parking" and says a pilot program would test the following:

  • If turnover at meters increase during peak periods
  • If double-parking decreases
  • If drivers “circle” less to find a space
  • If buses can pull to the curb more frequently

According to Dutton, DOT is currently undertaking a study of parking demand in the neighborhood to give meeting participants a sense of what different meter rates will accomplish. Public input will strongly influence how DOT proceeds. "They want to let the neighborhood come up with ideas," said Dutton.

People who live or work in the vicinity of Community District 2 can play a role in shaping this critical policy reform this Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Tony Dapolito Recreation Center -- 3 Clarkson Street, 3rd Floor.

Photo: the wicked witch of the east/Flickr

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