Full Council approves ‘pay-to-park’ plan

The Brooklyn Paper
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The full City Council overwhelmingly approved a controversial plan on Thursday to sell parking permits to neighbors of the Barclays Center arena, despite objections from southern Brooklyn lawmakers who say that charging for residential street parking amounts to a tax for something that has always been free.

The Council’s 40–8 vote came one day after the legislature’s State and Federal Legislation Committee approved the measure, which supporters say will prevent basketball fans and other arena-goers from hogging parking spaces in neighborhoods around a 19,000-seat arena that will have parking spaces for just 1,100 cars.

“Right now it’s almost impossible to park” near the under-construction arena, said District Leader Jo Anne Simon (D–Boerum Hill). “We want to make sure our neighborhoods are not overrun [after the arena opens].”

Under the proposal — which is being pushed by state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D–Brooklyn Heights) and Assemblywoman Joan Millman (D–Cobble Hill), but first required a Council “home rule” resolution — residents would have the option of buying the permits for a yet-to-be determined fee. They wouldn’t be guaranteed a spot, but roughly eight out of every 10 spaces on residential streets near the arena would be reserved for permit holders.

Other neighborhoods would be allowed to opt into the citywide program. Neighborhoods such as Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope have supported residential parking permits as a shield against commuters from southern Brooklyn and elsewhere who park in their neighborhoods and then take mass transit into Manhattan.

Supporters believe that a permit system will also reduce the long-term impact of traffic congestion around the Atlantic Yards mega-project, which is slated to include 6,430 apartments on a 22-acre site that stretches from Flatbush Avenue to Vanderbilt Avenue.

Similar programs have been adopted in Boston, Washington D.C. and Chicago, where residents around Wrigley Field pay $25 annually for “reasonable access to parking” near the baseball stadium known to fans as the Friendly Confines.

Citing the success of those programs, Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope) called a permit plan “the one piece of public policy that can make a difference” on Atlantic Yards traffic.

City transportation officials oppose a citywide permit plan, but have agreed to study the areas around the Barclays Center and Yankee Stadium because of the residential nature of the neighborhoods.

Meanwhile, lawmakers in southern Brooklyn, where car ownership is far more widespread, lambasted the plan as a tax on drivers, who have always enjoyed free on-street parking.

“The idea that someone would have to pay to park in front of their own home is ludicrous,” said state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge). “This is nothing more than another tax on our communities.”

The plan was criticized along similar lines by Councilman Lew Fidler (D–Marine Park), who lobbied unsuccessfully to postpone Wednesday’s committee vote. The home rule resolution now frees state lawmakers to take up the proposal early next year.

Residential parking permits were shelved in 2008 after Mayor Bloomberg’s broader congestion pricing legislation failed in Albany.

Golden promised that the latest effort would also never make it through the Republican-controlled Senate. But Squadron said there’s more support for the measure this time around, thanks to provisions that allow neighborhoods and individuals to opt out of participating.

“This is not going to be implemented in neighborhoods that don’t want it,” Squadron said.

Residents who live near the Barclays Center said they would buy into the program — if it’s not too expensive.

“Between $50 and $200 is reasonable,” said Wayne Bailey, a car owner who lives on Pacific Street between Carlton and Sixth avenues. “The arena isn’t even open and parking is already total chaos.”

Reach reporter Daniel Bush at or by calling (718) 260-8310.
Updated 5:27 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

park slope parker from park slope says:
love the indignation from Bay Ridge, where every other house has a driveway (more than a few illegal, according to the BP), thereby insuring parking spot on their property and removing public parking from Bay Ridge.
Nov. 4, 2011, 11:16 am
K. Marx from BKLYNNY says:
This is great news! It's time to end the massive subsidy that is free parking. You want a parking spot in Brooklyn? Register your car to New York State and pay the proper fees. Time to stop giving away this real estate for free to everyone with four wheels.
Nov. 4, 2011, 11:37 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Southern Brooklyn: the worst part of New York City, or merely the worst part of Brooklyn?
Nov. 4, 2011, 12:36 pm
Joe Blow from Bay Ridge says:
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Southern Brooklyn: the worst part of New York City, or merely the worst part of Brooklyn?

This from a "sophisticate" who probably just moved here from Bumf*ck Iowa.
Nov. 4, 2011, 2:17 pm
S from Bklyn says:
To be fair, Southern Brooklyn is great. It's their politicians that are the worst.
Nov. 4, 2011, 2:55 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I am sort of mixed on this issue. Although I do agree that residents should have a right to park, I don't think that they should be given something that rest has to search endlessly for. I was against residential parking permits when congestion pricing was mentioned, because it's just another special class when everyone else has to pay or other things. As long as they are just on the immediate parts or in residential only areas, I won't be against them, otherwise it's just another special treatment. However, I still find it wrong to build an arena near the most congested area in the borough, though I was never for the Nets moving to Brooklyn in the first place as I continue to be against it right now.
Nov. 4, 2011, 2:56 pm
UmadBro? from wat says:
I'm for anything that keeps people from south brooklyn out of our area.
Nov. 4, 2011, 3:03 pm
bill from glendale says:
pay to park in your area wear you live dont fall for it it free now you think it will change wake up the city should just clean the street twice a week and get presure of the tax payers dont dare try to bring that crap to queens
Nov. 4, 2011, 5:13 pm
Marc from Windsor Terrace says:
This is a terrible policy that will solve nothing and will instead pit neighborhoods against one another as the boundaries for the permits are drawn. It is being instigated by the wealthy from Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, and Park Slope to make it easier for them to park and has nothing to do with Ratner's idiotic project. Permits should be free to all City residents and good in all neighborhoods, regardless of wealth. And, if you find it to difficult to find a parking space where you live, don't own a car. You live in New York. This whole quick, no-public-debate process in the Council and the Legislature was a disgrace. I will never vote for my former friend Brad Lander again.
Nov. 4, 2011, 10:58 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Every politician from southern Brooklyn is better than the idiots they have to represent.

Are there worse people in New York than those from New York?

I will never let me children be from New York.
Nov. 4, 2011, 11:44 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
@Tal Barzilai

A right to park??????????????????????????????????????????

Are you kidding? Look through the Bill of Rights. Those things are important. And you want to add a right to abandon your 2,000 pounds of metal while you aren't using it to freedom of speech and religion?

I didn't think so. I'm glad you agree.
Nov. 4, 2011, 11:46 pm
common sense from bay ridge says:
@Mike: Please knock some unfortunate soul up already so you can do us all a favor, and go back on whatever turnip wagon you had the misfortune of arriving on. Life is tough enough here without some miserable pos like you infecting everyone with your negativity. You know you hate it here, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. C ya!!
Nov. 5, 2011, 12:45 am
Resident from PPW says:
I understand the neighborhood's issue around the Atlantic Yards and think the local permit's be issued for a nominal cost.

However, the other part of the logic behind this proposal is that people from south Brooklyn drive to Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope (where there is a lot of easy parking, lol) and park their cars for the day to commute into Manhattan?

1 - Parking is tough enough in Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights to begin with. Why would anyone drive their car into these neighborhoods for parking?

2 - The Park Slope subways are the same at the south Brooklyn subways in terms of quality and quantity. So, there is no benefit there.

3 - I already pay car registration and inspection tax. Additionally, my carbon emitting several ton vehicle supports the local economy with visits to the mechanic, auto body shop, gas stations and auto parts store. All of these business' and the people they employ would be out of work if not for automobiles.

I am beginning to think that the local politicians are hanging out with Bloomberg too much. Have they lost their sense of reality?
Nov. 5, 2011, 5:44 am
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
No, Resident

you have lost your sense of reality if you think owning a car in Park Slope makes a positive effect on the local economy. Your car registration and inspection tax are tiny compared to the impact on the roads , not to mention the rest of the planet.

The subways are not the same in South Brooklyn. The stations are so spread out that many commuters have to drive to the nearest station. Some of them drive further get to subways stations in Park Slope.
Nov. 5, 2011, 7:19 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
"Your car registration and inspection tax are tiny compared to the impact on the roads , not to mention the rest of the planet."

Please show your work.

The planet has survived collisions with astroids, polar inversions, and tectonic plate shifts that you can not even imagine.

The automobile has brought liberty, freedom of movement, and food clothing and shelter to billions of people making this earth the home of 7 billion people.

The earth will not notice if you ride your bike in a snowstorm instead of a car. The earth will not notice if all of Williamsburg rides bikes to the nearest fad food truck that gets pushed into a parking spot so as not to put CO2 into the air - the same CO2 that is released everytime you open a Coca Cola.
Nov. 5, 2011, 8:51 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
The reason why I have never fully been in favor of RPP is mainly because it almost makes a neighborhood into a private community. What is the point of owning a car in such an area if the most you do with it is just move somewhere else when the alternate side parking regulations come to affect? If that is the case, then you don't need a car, and I suggest renting when you actually do need it. Also, those that have parking on their properties such as garages or driveways don't need a permit because their property already has a spot for them, so it makes no sense for that either. I don't mind the area immediately around the arena having them, but further away, there shouldn't be. Honestly, I have seen something like this in Forest Hills Gardens, and I find them unnecessary for the most part, because most of the properties there have either driveways or garages, so the signs are meaingless, and the same goes for places in the Rockaways and Manhattan Beach. Now that I think about it, how about not always having metered parking in affect on Roosevelt Island since most of the property there has parking for residents?
Nov. 5, 2011, 4:57 pm
Or from Yelow Hook says:
"If that is the case, then you don't need a car, "

Need does not enter into it comrade - Desire and ability to pay are all that matters.
Nov. 6, 2011, 7:42 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
For the record, I actually do use my car on a regular basis, so if I have the oppurtunity for a RPP when I need it, I would go for it. I am not saying that they shouldn't have it at all, just how much they are using them. If they are using them reguraly like I do, then I will support them having it, otherwise, they are just throwing away money. If their property has a driveway or a garage, then it's not needed. However, I don't think it makes sense to have a RPP for those who only use their cars just to move somewhere else when alternate side park rules are in affect. What's the point of having a car if that's all you are going to do with it for the most part? Part of the reason why in much of NYC there arean't any RPP is because of the transit option that is available, and some feel that these permits will discourage the use of it, while others feel that it will make it hard for others that need to find parking spots and need more time than just a parking meter especially since feeding them is considered illegal, which is why I have not been in full support of these. Still, it's a bad idea to place an arena that isn't even near any highways, because the traffic won't even be residual, and there are still those that drive to games despite there being available transit just like at the others.
Nov. 6, 2011, 11:15 am
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
and now all of Brooklyn can than Tal for his uninformed opinion.
Nov. 7, 2011, 1:59 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
BTW, the only professional sports facility in this area that gives residential parking near them is the Prudential Center in Newark. The rest don't have this. Even there, they are only on the immidiate blocks, and not just about everyone that is there. Perhaps, just doing the immidiate blocks would make sense, but not entire neighborhoods. As for that statement by Other Michael, that is very uncalled for and low even for you, so I expect an apology from you after that insult right away! Where I come from one, he is makes a personal attack when it comes to a discussion is nothing more than a coward.
Nov. 7, 2011, 3:51 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:

This issue is so much bigger trying to find a spot during a basketball game. Your lack of understanding of how people in Brooklyn live is obvious, I am just pointing that out. No insult intended.
Nov. 8, 2011, 8:15 am
Josef from downtown brooklyn says:
1. i'm not sure exactly how this would work, but people going to basketball games at atlantic yards should have to pay extra unless they can prove they walked, rode a bike, or took mass transit.

2. i think that nyc should be doing its utmost to discourage car ownership. my proposal: we should initiate the congestion charge for driving in manhattan, use the proceeds to massively upgrade and expand the mta network, and then expand/revise the congestion charge zone to apply to all five boroughs and be based on time spent in the city, whether driving or parked on the street (this would replace metered parking and the fees for parking in a garage would incorporate this new charge - new construction of parking garages would also be forbidden) as soon as the excuse of "the subway doesn't run near my house" is no longer valid.
Nov. 8, 2011, 1:02 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Sorry Josef, but those who hate cars lost the congestion pricing battle. As matter of fact, no matter how it was structured, those living within the zone would either get a discount or free pass, while those living outside the zone will pay the full price. Nevertheless, it was defeated, and many of those living will have to pay the full price. Overall, many of those living outside the planned zone, saw it as nothing more than just another tax imposed on them as if they weren't paying enough. I am for helping expanding the subway and rail lines, but using another major tax like this won't work. Let's not forget that the MTA has a history of misusing funds and demanding for more. We motorists already fund your tranist a lot, so maybe it's time you riders starting giving your fair share. If it comes up again, it will lose again as did placing tolls on free crossings when the whole purpose of the tolls was to just pay them off and be removed after when many of them are still around and even higher than before, plus toll hikes don't go up in quarters and are much more constant that fares do.
Nov. 8, 2011, 6:48 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:

I do not hate cars. I OWN A CAR. This is not a tax on car owners, it is a way of making sure I can park near my house. Between 2 and 5pm it is often impossible to find a "good spot". There have been days that I was unable to park within 4 or 5 blocks of my own home.

I would gladly pay a fee/tax for the chance to find a spot within a block or two.
Nov. 9, 2011, 7:46 am
Lance from Ozone Park, NY says:
I live on the borderline of Bklyn and Queens. On Eldert Lane by Grant Ave., there's a parking lot in front of the houses. The residents here can't get parking because all the commuters take up all the space. These people should leave their cars at home and take the subway from where they live. Ever since a few months ago, parking has gotten a lot worst here. The parking lot has more than enough room for all these commuters to park their cars. Meanwhile, us residents can't park on our own block because the commuters take up all our space. I highly support this bill and I rather pay the yearly fee than having to keep paying out of pocket for parking when I barely make enough to pay the bills.Meanwhile these guys come in with their expensive cars and park them on our streets and get free parking? Here's a simple thought: If you can afford a new and pricey car, you can afford to pay $8.00 to park your car the entire day in the parking lot!

My wife owns a used car and when we go shopping for food for the family, we can't even park the car until later in the evening near us. We got elderly people on this block too who need to have accessible parking.
Dec. 8, 2011, 5:30 pm

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