Free Parking: The Agony and the Lunacy

A reader passes on this notice, one of many distributed on Park Slope windshields. We present it without further comment.

The agony of free parking

  • Eric McClure

    Yes, our biggest problem here in Park Slope is inefficiently parked cars. Meanwhile, back in reality, a different driver has parked, all day, each day this week, less than eight feet from the fire hydrant nearest my home. Guess they’re just “maximizing efficiency.”

    By the way, love the gratuitous PPW bike path shot.

  • Parking Logic

    No matter how many times old brownstones are divided into multi-family dwellings, no matter how many shiny new condos go up bringing thousands of new people to the neighborhood each year, no matter how many apartments are sold to rich people who can afford cars, and no matter how many popular businesses and hot restaurants open up, it’s always going to be the loss of about a dozen or so spaces on Propsect Park West that’s to blame for the parking crunch in the Slope.

    Gotta love the fake ticket language: “your vehicle has been cited.”

  • same in forest hills. but i’ll take it over rego park where the idiots try to squeeze into the smallest space and scratch your bumper with no regard

  • This is just silly since most drivers just use whatever space is available. Here in Manhattan drivers most likely to park “inefficiently” are from out-of-state. They don’t know how to parallel park and the one with Jersey plates act like they don’t even know what a bike lane is. Doesn’t Park Slope have a local NRA or DAR where these folks can volunteer? Obviously they have far too much time on their hands.

  • Do not park MORE than 15 feet from a fire hydrant? So if there’s no fire hydrant nearby I can’t park there?

  • Glenn

    Wait, what are in the “additional comments” section? Pure comedy.

    When I lived in Astoria, I owned a car and all the neighbors seemed to think they owned the spot in front of their house and I would get notes saying “please don’t park here…”

  • Anonymous

    Please defrag …

  • Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    Yeah, I am not sure what Additional Comments means, but it made me burst out laughing.

  • Pete

    Well, since parking _less_ than 15 feet from a parking meter warrants an extremely expensive ticket….

  • Anonymous

    Just amazing.

  • Anonymous

    When will they realize that there will never be enough free parking and that bike lanes can only help by giving people an alternative to owning a car.

  • Glenn


    Isn’t this what market rate user fees were invented for? As a game, replace “On-street parking” with any public resource with usage limits.




  • moocow

    Yes, Yes, Yes! “Parking Logic”, I agree.

  • Anonymous

    Dear Neighbor/Crank:

    Your citation has been cited for hypocritical ignorance/unintentional awesomeness.

    Your excessive intake of mescaline has allowed you to divine that the parking problem in this area results from the loss of a handful of spots on PPW. We have waited many years for people to figure this out. In fact if you rewatch all of the scenes in The Squid and the Whale of people hunting for spots in Park Slope in the 1980s, you’ll see many subliminal signals that, even back then, the PPW bike lane caused it all. Of course we suspect you might already be good at seeing subliminal signals.

    We know that you know that the few parking spots that were lost in the redesign of PPW weren’t sacrificed to the bike lane (which goes along the curb and by itself takes zero spots) but to the overall community-led effort to slow traffic and increase pedestrian and motor vehicle driver’s safety, while still allowing for ample short-term loading and unloading spots along a road that sees many different types of use.

    We know that you know that the problem in this area is the influx of knuckle-dragging nimnulls who require a car to live in one of the densest places in America.

    And we think it’s hilarious that you put on this front, like you’re some halfwit who feels he* has the right to go around chiding your neighbors for things that could very easily be beyond their control. I mean, if I follow your instructions to a T and someone pulls up behind me and parks too far from me, how can you tell who parked against Our Lord’s directions?

    If you care about air quality, street safety, or quality of life, I recommend riding a bike.

    As a courtesy to other residents, please move more than 15 miles or 1 or 2 light-years away from Park Slope. Staying any closer might result in your having to face reality. Obviously, that would painful for you.

    Additional comments:

    *Who’s kidding who? You’re a penis-bearing member of the species. It’s clear in every word.

  • Mark Walker

    I agree with the part that said “free on-street parking is a waste of a precious public resource.” I might have added a couple of words.

  • Cap’n Transit

    Looks like material for!

  • vh

    I think the biggest problem in Park Slope is people whose hobby is being irate and self-congratulatory for the wrong reasons. I will remember this post the next time someone pushing a double-wide stroller commenting on the ecological footprint of my cheeseburger.

  • Union Street

    Dear Park Slope Resident / Car Owner:

    Thank you so much for posting this flyer all over the neighborhood and, yet again, demonstrating how utterly batshit insane the local bike lane opponents happen to be.

    With love and admiration,

    Your Neighbor. 

  • Park Slope Neighbor

    It’s too bad that the hysteric who posted this flyer didn’t put his or her name on it. I’d love to send them a reply pointing out the fact that there’s been a substantial net gain of parking spots in Park Slope thanks to the DOT’s installation of Muni-Meters, the ParkSmart program and the MTA’s bus service cuts, resulting in the loss of numerous bus stops on PPW and Union Street.

    Oh, hell, I think I’ll just send my note to Louise Hainline, NBBL Headquarters, 9 Prospect Park West, Penthouse A. This kind of looks like her work. 

  • Aaron

    This is fantastic. I just can’t get over how great this item is. Look how long the note is. The person who wrote this is just so thoroughly committed to the cause. You almost have to admire it. It’s like Martin Luther’s 95 Theses About Parking. This is a priceless document of the waning days of NYC Bikelash. These are the bikelash dead-enders. They’ll fight to the death.

  • I’m willing to bet good money that the author of this note never called 311 to report the amount of parking taken up this wreck at PPW & 3rd Street. But maybe he/she can answer this: how far am I supposed to back up to maximize the use of parking spaces near my vehicle if my car doesn’t have any tires?

  • Ben

    Where did they get this paper? Who has a printer that can handle 8.5 x 30 format?

  • Guest

    Remind me to never ever move to park slope

  • Guest

    Rich white people problems.

  • Mike

    Looks like it’s a bunch of sheets taped together.  Someone has WAY too much time on their hands.

  • Guest

    For the record, parking for 166 hours consecutively in the same spot and moving only for alternate-side is not why someone would get a “ticket”. I mean, that’s just natural. Taking up more than 15 feet around a fire hydrant however, is a holy sin.

  • On-street parking IS a precious public resource.  Brooklyn needs bike corrals to use it more efficiently:

  • Anonymous

    Makes sense to me.  In my area I once saw a simple handwritten note to someone at the center of two spaces between driveways.  It simply said, “You park like an asshole”.  People should stand up to acts of selfishness wherever they witness it.

  • Jkspinning

    From out here in batshit crazy Arizona, it looks like inefficient pricing has led to inefficient parking.

  • Neighborhood Guy

    Jkspinning: No, don’t you see? Inefficient pricing is not causing the inefficient parking problem. It’s all the fault of the Prospect Park West bike lane. I guess you’re not a local, so you don’t understand.

  • I’m thinking that maybe, just maybe, part of the problem there is that the parking is free!  Should be charging by the spot to insure efficient use.

  • Bolwerk

    One thing the sane streets crowd should be pushing for is: smaller cars.  Charge a market price to park something the size of a Smart Car, and triple or quadruple it to use two spaces – as any large car would do. 

  • Anonymous

    Out here in the ‘burbs, homeowners think they own the street in front of their homes.  So if someone other than the owner parks in front, the homeowner puts a complaining note on the car.

  • fj

    As we all know, the normal parking space takes up an inordinate amount of public space which in aggregate is obscene.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone seems to agree that the market for street side parking in distorted because the price is free, and that it would be more functional for everyone if the parking were priced at a market rate.

    It would be a fascinating experiment if someone offered to reserve an on-street spot to see how much they could charge per day.  (It would require some orange cones, a lawn chair, some free time, and a willingness to take a mild to moderate amount of verbal abuse.)

    Alternatively, perhaps there could be a local reverse auction where you could keep bidding higher until one of your neighbors agreed to move his car off the block and free up the spot for you. 

    It seems like private garages should set the cap on the prices of any such services, but people seem to value parking on the block where they live very highly, even though the amount of time they dedicate to making this happen can far exceed the time spent walking to a spot slightly farther away.

  • Anonymous

    “Where did they get this paper? Who has a printer that can handle 8.5 x 30 format?”

    Aw man, I knew there was a reason I should’ve held on to my old dot matrix printer with the continuous sheet feed!

  • Happy with my spot

    Dear Neighbor,
    I want to thank you for the note you left on my car. I just got back from riding my bike up and down Prospect Park West with my kids (see the bike lanes to the PPW bike lane are still a little dicey for my little ones, so we drive to get to it) and I am now so relaxed and happy, that I can see the humor and fun in your comments.
    Thanks for making a good day even better!

  • Anonymous

    I don’t see any humor in this notice. It’s deadly serious and an obvious attack on Cyclists and Bike lanes. He or she would have us go to the bad old days when cyclists were 3rd class citizens and could run down with impunity by maniacs with 4 wheels.
    The more cars that are allowed on the road, the greater the impact on air quality, street safety and and quality of life in this entire city. I see many more cars than I did years ago. This city has become as bad of suburbia and rural America where the car is king and there is no competition for the auto industry.

    “I had a dream where the car is reduced to a fossil” XTC.