Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Media Watch

Times Metro Desk Explains Parking Reform For the Windshield Set

5:38 PM EST on November 26, 2012

In today's edition, the New York Times took a look at parking policy in Downtown Brooklyn. You wouldn't expect the Times to explore a wonky topic like parking reform with the same depth as Streetsblog's coverage of the proposal, but still, the article barely hinted at the huge costs imposed by parking minimums. Scarcely a word was devoted to the evidence that parking minimums make housing less affordable, or that they induce traffic and congestion.

The key to understanding the piece is in the first sentence. Reporter Thomas Kaplan -- who usually covers politics in Albany, not zoning in Brooklyn -- started it off with this snappy lede: "In traffic-clogged New York City, where parking spaces are coveted like the rarest of treasures, an excess of parking spaces might seem like an urban planner’s dream."

Joined by Streetsblog founding editor Aaron Naparstek, I asked Kaplan on Twitter: Who, exactly, are these mysterious urban planners? Naparstek suggested that perhaps he was "referring to 'an urban planner's dream' from 1956, suburban Long Island."

It turns out Kaplan wasn't talking about urban planners at all. "To the avg person who can't find a place to park in NYC," he replied, "surplus parking might seem like a good thing."

@naparstek Right—I meant, to the avg person who can't find place to park in NYC, surplus parking might seem like a good thing for a planner

— Thomas Kaplan (@thomaskaplan) November 26, 2012

So there you have it: The story is not intended for the majority of New York City households who don't own a car, nor for a hypothetically "neutral" audience who might want to understand the significance of parking policy regardless of their personal stake in the outcome. It's for "the average person who can't find a place to park in NYC."

The gap between the New York Times Metro Desk and Marcia Kramer may not be as big as you'd think.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

We Have the ‘End of Days’ Flooding Pics You Need Right Now

It's bad out there. How bad? Here is a citywide roundup from our staff ... and our friends on social media.

September 29, 2023

Labor Gains: Judge Tosses App Giants’ Suit to Stop Deliverista Minimum Wage

Justice Nicholas Moyne cleared the way for a long-delayed wage hike for workers who brave dangerous roads to bring food directly to New Yorkers.

September 29, 2023

Fed Up Bronxites Tell Mayor To Forget About Bus Ride Invitation After Fordham Road ‘Betrayal’

"I really would think that our mayor would be a little bit more active and speak with us, because he hasn't really made any time with riders. We're not the enemy. We just want better bus service."

September 29, 2023

City Pays $150K to Settle Suit Over Cops Who Harassed Man Who Reported Police Parking Misconduct

Justin Sherwood and his lawyer will pocket $152,000 to settle his federal civil rights suit against the city and several officers who harassed him following his 311 calls.

September 28, 2023
See all posts