The Sunday Parking Free-for-All on Junction Boulevard

On Sunday, parking meters aren't in effect, people double-park by the dozen, and access to commercial streets gets harder.

Isn't free parking glorious?
Isn't free parking glorious?

Free parking isn’t free.

Sure, on Sundays, drivers don’t have to pay parking meters. But they impose plenty of costs on the rest of us — not to mention other drivers stuck in the logjam that free parking creates.

For proof, check out this scene from Junction Boulevard in Queens yesterday. Biking on Junction just north of Roosevelt Avenue, Clarence Eckerson counted a whopping 27 double-parked cars on a mere two blocks. Good luck if you count on the Q72 to get to work at LaGuardia — first you have to get through this sludge:

Free Sunday parking meters are a legacy of city legislation enacted in October, 2005. Until then, about half of the city’s parking meters did charge on Sundays.

Overriding a mayoral veto, the City Council voted to make all parking meters free on Sunday. The council was egged on by mayoral challenger Freddy Ferrer, who went on the attack against incumbent Michael Bloomberg by claiming that Sunday parking meters were a tax on churchgoers.

Instead of making it easier for anyone to get around, the result of free Sunday meters is this mess: Curbs are clogged all day long, double-parking runs rampant, and access to commercial streets gets harder.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Ridiculous David Greenfield Parking Bills: A Timeline

|
A few years back Streetsblog ran a post with the headline “Another Year, Another David Greenfield Parking Bill.” And it’s true! Except for 2014, Greenfield has introduced or sponsored legislation intended to somehow lessen the hassle of parking every year since 2010. While he’s a vocal proponent of Vision Zero, it still seems Greenfield has never […]

Congestion Pricing Should be Attached to Parking Reform

|
The daily scene on SoHo’s Crosby Street, jammed with illegally parked government employees. The Observer reported on Wednesday that Walter McCaffrey’s Committee to Keep New York City Congestion Tax Free recently solicited UCLA parking policy guru Donald Shoup to do a study of curbside parking policy in New York. Carolyn Konheim, a Brooklyn-based transportation consultant […]

Vacca Looks to Squeeze $ From Bikes, But Won’t Touch the Price of Parking

|
The headline from today’s City Council transportation committee oversight hearing was Janette Sadik-Khan’s announcement that the official launch date for Citi Bike is Memorial Day. Meanwhile, for Transportation Committee Chair James Vacca, it was another occasion to flail at bikes and defend cheap parking under the guise of holding a budget hearing. Sadik-Khan kicked off the hearing […]