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Would You Pay to Park On Your Block?

A bill passed by the City Council may make it difficult to park where you don't live in the city, but easier to park where you live—if you're willing to pay.

A proposal from a Brooklyn state senator may make it easier to park on your block, but it’ll cost you.

The bill, written by Sen. Daniel Squadron would allow people living in a neighborhood to purchase special permits to park in the area. At least twenty percent of space will be saved for non-residents to park in 90-minute clips.

The bill passed the City Council on Thursday and will now be sent up to Albany for approval.

The bill itself does not specify the cost of a permit, or provide cap, but Squadron told CBSNews.com that the City Council and Department of Transportation would likely charge between $20 and $100.

“If it’ll be $2 this year, it’ll be $5 next year, and then it’ll become exorbitant,” predicted state Sen. Tony Avella, D-Bayside. “If this is going to be a backdoor way to raise funds, then I’m against it.”

Making people pay to park in their own neighborhood, said Avella, would be even more ludicrous than not being able to park.

“The devil is in the details,” he said, explaining that there would be some circumstances under which he would vote for it, but not if it would be an imposition on local businesses, for instance.

As it stands, the bill does have a short provision stating that commercial streets and adjacent properties will not be zoned for permit parking.

Squadron and the bill’s Albany sponsor, Assemblywoman Joan Millman, represent the neighborhoods around Atlantic Yards as well as downtown Brooklyn and Brooklyn Heights, where commuters routinely park.

Squadron’s bill has no co-sponsors from senators representing other city districts, Avella pointed out. The senator also said his Republican colleagues are likely to kill the bill to the disappointment of many who testified before the City Council’s Transportation Committee.

“Sometimes I get home from work and I have to wait two hours to get a parking spot,” testified a woman from Prospect Heights, Brooklyn who lived a block from the construction of Brooklyn’s Barclay Center. “This is going to get worse and worse. There’s going to be noise, air pollution. I have 21-month-old twins. This is going to be ridiculous.”

But others believe parking permits would be just another tax instituted by the city, that the “park and ride” problem would just move to the next neighborhood over, and that permits would make it difficult for people to drive to visit friends or run errands in other parts of their borough.

Revenues from the permits would be given to New York City Transit to improve subway and bus service.

Money from fines would go to the New York City general fund—a fact of which northeast Queens activist Bob Friedrich was all too aware.

“I can tell you right now, I am very much opposed to the street parking permit because it’s just another way the city will be taxing middle class homeowners,” said Friedrich, who is president of Glen Oaks Village.

Friedrich suspects that the permit zones may start of in limited areas, but said the areas and fees will “increase exponentially as the city needs resources.”

“I recognize that maybe some areas in the city that might have some concerns,” said Friedrich. “If they want a to create a parking permit, then it shouldn’t cost anything.”

Arthur J caputo November 06, 2011 at 03:57 PM
Why is this article being posted again? See the other same article for the comments. What kind of move is this?
Lauren Evans November 06, 2011 at 05:57 PM
Hi Arthur- We actually hadn't posted the article on LN Patch yet, so this is the first time. Thanks!

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