Details of ‘Peak Rate Parking’ Coming Into Focus

peak_rate_parking_maps_2.gifToday’s Times provides a look at DOT’s plans to test out variable-rate on-street parking in Greenwich Village and along Kings Highway in Brooklyn. Following the lead of San Francisco and Washington DC, the pilot programs aim to free up on-street spaces and reduce cruising by raising meter prices during peak hours.

The Times spoke to Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan about how DOT will put these ideas into practice:

In the Village, the higher parking rates would be charged in an area
that stretches from Houston Street to Charles Street and includes
portions of Seventh Avenue South and Avenue of the Americas. Currently,
the area has parking meters that charge 25 cents for 15 minutes, or $1
an hour. Ms. Sadik-Khan said the meter rates would likely increase so
that 25 cents would buy 6 to 7 1/2 minutes, which would be the
equivalent of $2 to $2.50 an hour.

In Brooklyn, it was unclear
how many blocks of Kings Highway would be included in the program, but
business and community leaders said that parking and traffic problems
are concentrated in the section between Coney Island and Ocean Avenues.
Along that stretch of road, meters currently charge 25 cents for 20
minutes, or 75 cents an hour. In some locations, the rate is 25 cents
for 30 minutes, or 50 cents an hour.

Ms. Sadik-Khan said those
rates may be raised as high as 25 cents for 10 minutes, or $1.50 an
hour, during the peak parking period. But one community leader said
transportation officials said in a meeting that the rate could be set
as high as 25 cents for 6 minutes, or $2.50 an hour.

Graphic: New York Times

  • d

    I was confused about this part of the article:

    “It is also expected to decrease the number of drivers who double-park or park in bus stops. ”

    If prices go up, wouldn’t people be MORE likely to double-park or stop in a bus stop, rather than pay more, especially if they are only running into a store or making a quick pick-up or errand? Can someone explain this theory?

    Also, I wonder if the parking fees will eventually go up. Is the DOT just testing the waters right now? $2/hour doesn’t seem like much of an increase and hardly reflects the value of on-street parking. It can cost $10 or more to park for an hour in a garage. Will the DOT eventually raise fees to, say, $5/hour?

  • Streetsman

    The idea is that higher parking rates result in fewer people parking and for shorter times, thus more available spaces and less double-parking.

  • The principle is sound, but this initial implementation may run into problems. Even these increases still leave street parking priced well below garage parking. If it does have an effect on parking behavior, the small size of the test area will simply displace cars to surrounding areas. On the other hand, if this is the opening move to implementing a broader plan, cheers.

  • lee

    do these areas have muni-meters or single space meters?

  • OK, the Times didn’t get the map credit quite right, but hey, what am I gonna say. But Streetsblog? I’ll fix that! 🙂

    The map I gave to the Times: http://www.mindspring.com/~darkpilot/programmap.gif

    Sheesh!

  • To answer some questions:

    #1: The theory is that with at least 1 available spot per block, you won’t need to double-park or block a bus stop if you just have to make a quick stop or delivery. And the ticket for not paying the meter is less than double-parking or blocking a bus stop, if you are doing a risk-analysis.

    And we’re going to see what kind of rates work. Other DOT experience is that small changes result in big behavior changes, but it is quite possible that it will take something more like $5/hr to get our targets (that’s personally what I expect). But there is the desire to make smaller changes and approach the “right” rate from below, partly to temper the outcry.

    #3 – It is a pilot, and there is desire to greatly expand it when the data is compiled. One other thing to look at – does this drive cars (no pun intended) to actually circle more for a FREE spot on a residential street rather than use the metered spot for a quick errand? That info is going to be studied.

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