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Monday’s Headlines: People Over Parking Edition

Two spots for cars — or one spot for humans? Plus other news.

12:00 AM EDT on October 23, 2023

Photo: Angel Mendoza|

Open Plans turned two parking spaces into a studio apartment.

Two wasteful spots for cars — or one comfy spot for humans?

Our friends at Open Plans know the answer — and to demonstrate how much more housing New York City could have, the public policy advocates turned two parking spaces in a Williamsburg garage into a surprisingly spacious studio apartment, complete with a bed, a den, a kitchen area and a nook or two.

In other words, you go from this...

Look at how much space two cars take up.Photo: Angel Mendoza this

You could even have people over!Photo: Angel Mendoza

It's all part of Open Plans's quest to end outdated zoning rules that require developers to include lots of parking in many new projects — parking that encourages car ownership, which leads to congestion, pollution and road violence.

It was such a good demonstration that Clarence Eckerson covered it in a quick-turnaround, must-see Streetfilms video:

Gothamist also covered.

The good news is that Mayor Adams appears to be listening. As we've reported, his "City of Yes" zoning proposal would completely eliminate parking mandates, though it's unclear if the proposal will emerge from the public review process unscathed (we hope it does).

In other news from the weekend:

  • NIMBY and the Village — perfect together. (NY Post)
  • The disconnect between the Times opinion and national pages and the paper's car-centric Metro section was again on display, thanks to Jamelle Bouie's insightful column on the rise in pedestrian deaths.
  • Here's another good idea from Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch: Put cameras on street sweepers to give tickets to richies who can't be bothered to move their car for alternate-side parking. (Gothamist)
  • There were two more car-related deaths over the weekend. The Daily News rounded them both up in one story, while amNY gave pedestrian victim Julio Plaza his own focus. The key detail: Cops said the driver was speeding, yet he wasn't charged.
  • And road rage after a minor fender-bender led to the death of another man. (NYDN)
  • More mudslides from all that Friday and Saturday rain took Amtrak and Metro-North out of service (NY Post, amNY), but it'll be back in time for today's rush hour (Gothamist).
  • Here's a great Tom Tracy story about a drunk cop who, in his own words, really "fucked up."
  • In case you missed it last week, the city released the design rules for outdoor dining, which we covered with a sharp angle, and Crain's played straight.
  • Komanoff shows the folly of divesting from Big Oil. (Carbon Tax Center)
  • Fortunately, Hell Gate got to the bottom of the whole "dog mayor" controversy.
  • Former federal transit man Larry Penner is not too optimistic about extending the Second Avenue Subway west along 125th Street. (Mass Transit)
  • Cops are busting a lot of gun-toters in the subway. (NY Post)
  • And speaking of the subway, the writers at "Saturday Night Live" don't seem to think much of it.

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