City still pushing parking meter price hike in Slope

The Brooklyn Paper
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Park Slope community leaders continue to slam the brakes on a scheme that would jack up the price of parking in the spot-challenged neighborhood by a whopping 33 percent, and stretch the hours when those rates are in effect.

Last week, Community Board 6 tabled the two most contentious aspects of a plan to extend “Park Smart,” a controversial city initiative that frees up parking spaces by making it pricier to park during peak hours, from noon to 4 pm.

The program, launched in May 2009, raised parking rates to $1.50 an hour along Fifth Avenue between Sackett and Third streets, and Seventh Avenue between Lincoln Place and Sixth Street.

The city now wants to hike the price to $2.25, and extend the “peak” hours until 9 pm.

But CB6 tabled both moves amid “some disagreeme­nt,” said Tom Miskel, chairman of the Transportation Committee.

Parking in the neighborhood has long been an asphalt conundrum, but the Department of Transportation said that its pilot program has proven that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

And it is already bearing fruit — well, spaces.

An April study found that Park Smart has discouraged “meter feeding,” helping more drivers find parking spots, which have turned over at a greater rate since the program’s inception.

With this data in mind, the city aims to expand the program: south to 15th Street on both Seventh and Fifth avenues; north on Fifth Avenue to Dean Street; to Ninth Street between Fourth and Sixth avenues.

At its Sept. 15 meeting at Long Island College Hospital, the Board 6 voted to support the new boundaries; to extend peak pricing from noon-4 pm to noon to 7 pm; and to change meter regulations from one hour to two hour stays at locations to be decided.

But the more controversial matters were tabled as merchants fear too much of a good thing.

“The current changes have alleviated the parking problem,” insisted Jo-Ann Kalb, owner of Park Slope Copy Center on Seventh Avenue between President and Carroll streets.

Kalb said she does not favor an extension of hours. “Most of the businesses here are closed by seven o’clock,” she noted.

But what’s good for one avenue might not be good for another.

Fifth Avenue restaurateur Irene Lo Re, who heads up that avenue’s business improvement district, said she favors the extended hours because of the area’s booming nightlife.

“This keeps the spots rotating,” Lo Re noted. “It benefits someone coming to dinner.”

Business leaders are working with the city to craft a compromise.

“We don’t want to extend the hours [beyond 7 pm], but we have an obligation to make sure that parking is turning over more quickly,” said Mitch Szpicek, president of the Park Slope Chamber of Commerce. “We want more ‘muni-meters’ because that means [physically] more spots.”

The agency said it plans to begin the program’s expansion with the installation of new “no-arm bandits” next spring.

Raising meter prices might be a boon to the city, but merchants agree: it will be a bust for shoppers and business owners.

“It’s just a way for the city to make money,” Kalb charged.

Updated 5:20 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Howard from Park Slope says:
Dear CB6, How about obtaining more hush money from the mayor and build some multi-tier parking lots. The city will benefit from additional revenue, the residents and merchants will benefit from more parking spots.
Sept. 28, 2010, 5:52 am
Dave from Park Slope says:
More parking spots mean more cars, which means more congestion, which means less business, not more. Price parking so that a few spots will always be available.
Sept. 28, 2010, 6:32 am
mike from GP says:
No offense, Howard, but that's a terrible idea. As Dave says, more parking means more congestion. This is Brooklyn, not Dallas.
Sept. 28, 2010, 7:56 am
Rich from PS says:
Whenever are they going to remove the old parking meter stubs. They promised to replace them with bike racks, never happened. PLEASE don't tell me the old parking meter stubs ARE the bike racks!
Sept. 28, 2010, 8:03 am
Jim from Windsor Terrace says:
The city is making a KILLING with the muni-meters but now they want to get greedy. As it stands now- when you purchase time from a muni-meter you most likely take your extra leftover time with you as opposed to the old meters where someone can use up your old minutes- basically giving a meter a set amount of money it can make in a day( calculate the amount of meter hours times the amount of quarters it atkes to buy an hours worth of time). With the muni-meters the city can make at least 5 times as much in an hour per parking spot if not more! If I purchase 1 hour of time and only use 30 minutes before leaving someone else is going to shell out money for the next half hour that I've already paid for, but this isn't enough for the city. Now they want to extend the hours and the blocks that have them, so when you come home from work and can't find parking on a non-metered block you can't park on 5th ave at 6 oclock anymore and put an hours worth of time in to keep your spot til tomorrow. You'll have to wait til around 8 to do that or after 9 if you don't want to feed the meter- this sucks if you work hard and want to go to sleep early.
Sept. 28, 2010, 9:18 am
Peter from Park Slope says:
Jim, parking on 5th and 7th avenues is already metered until 7pm, not 6pm. These are commercial destinations, not residential side streets.

If the city really wanted to make a killing on parking, they'd charge the same prices as the garages in the neighborhood. $2.25/hr isn't exactly a killing. If it frees up more spaces for people to come and park, it's doing its' job! We have extremely limited parking in this neighborhood, it's important to use what little we have efficiently!
Sept. 28, 2010, 10:10 am
Mike Curatore from Carroll Gardens says:
I want to hear more about the "hush money" CB6 is getting from the Mayor. Hey, Brooklyn Paper, why aren't you writing about that?
Oct. 5, 2010, 4:39 pm
Serf from Park Slope says:
$2.25 an hr is dog ——. This city sucks and they are doing everything they could to tap us to the last cent. I am starting to hate this town!
March 3, 2011, 11:57 am

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