Last Updated on October 15, 2021 by Lawrence Berezin
Is the nightmare of parking in NYC getting better or worse?
There are various causes for the parking nightmare. For example:
- Uncontrolled traffic congestion
- Significant rise in new car registrations
- Loss of curb space to restaurants, bike and car sharing programs
- Decrease in public transportation ridership
I’ve read articles and reviewed statistics that suggest a simple emergency has morphed into a complex crisis. Meanwhile, a reporter for the N.Y. Times challenged experts, stakeholders, and civilians to come up with a cure.
But, are there any solutions that qualify as a cure let alone a quick cure for New York CIty’s parking nightmare? Or is Freddy right?
Parking nightmare remedies by Sam Schwartz, former NYC Traffic Commissioner
You would be hard-pressed to find a more knowledgeable person about the chaos and misery of driving in N.Y.C. Indeed, Mr. Schwartz invented the term “gridlock.” It should come as no surprise that Gridlock Sam has several valuable suggestions:
- Cars should be required to have two or more occupants to enter the central business district
- Automate control of illegal parking
- Civilianize traffic enforcement
- Increase the ability to walk or bike to Manhattan from Brooklyn, Queens and New Jersey
Another issue is that the police don’t like doing parking enforcement. When you tell cops to do traffic enforcement, what they do is just give you more tickets. They don’t understand traffic science. Instead of having a goal of number of cars towed, let’s look at percent of lanes cleared. Civilianize traffic enforcement, and you’d have someone recognizing what’s important versus just turning in a load of tickets.Gridlock Sam Schwartz
Betsy Plum, advocate, executive director Riders Alliance
Ms. Plum urged that the powers-to-be gave buses significant priorities
Bus riders carried us through this pandemic. Fifty percent of bus riders are immigrants; 75 percent are New Yorkers of color and about 35 percent are essential workers. We have 6,000 miles of road in New York City and a little over 100 miles of bus lanes. So you see how little priority buses are given.
But there is hope in sight. Let’s think of how we can make the most of the Streets Master Plan — a fairly major street improvement project that was put into place by the sitting mayor.Betsey plum
Val George, Taxi driver since 1992
Mr. George favored congestion pricing and H.O.V. lane enforcement:
I think congestion pricing is a step in the right direction but it has to start from 96th Street all the way to the tip of the island — not 60th Street. That’s what the plan was originally; maybe the Upper East Side and Upper West bourgeoisie raised their voices.Val George
Manhattan Developers offer a solution
N.B.C. News reported on a proposed solution designed for rich people. That is to say, offer parking space condominiums for sale. Believe it or not, the idea is gaining traction due to the lack of adequate on-street parking spaces. Let’s go to the video:
Ban Cars from Manhattan
James Nevius is an urban historian and author of some books about New York, including Inside the Apple: A Streetwise History of New York City and Footprints in New York: Tracing the Lives of Four Centuries of New Yorkers. He is currently researching a book about American utopianism.
Mr. Nevius wrote a thought-provoking article that blended a historical perspective with a simple solution. In other words, ban cars in Manhattan. It is well worth your time and attention. And, maybe your exasperation and anger.
You’ve read a bunch of solutions. I would love to hear your ideas? Would you please share them with us?
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