New York City parking permit would ensure space near home - for a price

Daniel L. Squadron

May 22, 2009

BY Veronika Belenkaya

Monday, May 18th 2009, 4:00 AM

Residential parking permits may yet become a reality for parking-strapped city neighborhoods.

Two Brooklyn lawmakers are hoping legislation they introduced to the state Legislature that would allow the city to implement the permits will pass next month.

"Residents will be able to park near their homes without circling endlessly for a space," said state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D-Brooklyn Heights).

Squadron proposed the bill in January along with Assemblywoman Joan Millman (D-Brooklyn Heights).

If the bill passes, the city and individual neighborhoods would decide whether they want the residential permits, which wouldn't be allowed on commercial strips and would cover 80% of residential neighborhood streets.

The permits became controversial three years ago when a study by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership found permits weren't feasible because there was less than one spot in Brooklyn Heights for every four registered cars in the area.

"It's a real hardship. Anyone who lives here and has a car can't find parking," said Brooklyn Heights Association President Judy Stanton.

The current plan, in which the permits would have to be purchased and the revenue would go to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to fund city buses and subways, got a more positive review from the partnership.

"If the idea here is to connect drivers and supporting mass transit, that is an interesting approach . . . but the devil is in the details," said the Partnership's director, Michael Burke.

City Councilman David Yassky (D-Brooklyn Heights), who has long backed the permit cause, said the law would ease residential parking woes.

But a Transportation Department spokesman said permits alone aren't enough to solve parking problems, and should be accompanied by a congestion pricing plan.

"Without such a plan, we don't believe this bill will actually solve neighborhood parking problem," said Transportation Department spokesman Seth Solomonow.

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