Parking Permit Forum Tonight

We know how much the average Brooklyn Heights resident loves to talk about parking and tonight you'll have the chance to jibba jabba all you want about it:

Brownstoner: This Monday, several City Council Members and a number of neighborhood groups are holding a forum for Brooklynites to chew on the idea of residential parking permits. The town hall-style meeting will focus on whether the permits, which would probably cost a small annual fee, could help alleviate curbside parking problems and traffic in Downtown. Council Members David Yassky, Letitia James and Bill de Blasio have organized the event, which is expected to draw several hundred residents, and DOT comish Janette Sadik-Khan is scheduled to attend. Councilman de Blasio sees the forum as the first step in developing parking strategies for all of Brooklyn. 

The forum is tonight at 7pm, St. Francis College Auditorium 180 Remsen Street.

Update: Streetsblog has a blow by blow from Monday's meeting.

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  • thoughts?

    first time i have been inspired to write into a blog. i think residential permits are a great idea. i can’t tell you how many times i have walked down my street to see half of the parking spots occupied with out of state plates. mind you, these people are not paying new york city insurance rates, probably not paying new york city taxes, and new york city registration/car fees.
    it may not be the worst idea to implement a system like Boston’s parking system, where you must have your car registered and insured in a specific neighbourhood (sp) in order to recieve a parking pass. let all the out-of-staters put their cars in garages.

  • NoPermits

    Parking permits are a horrible idea in ANY neighborhood. If you’re visiting from out of town or out of state the last thing you need is one more crazy, convoluted New York City parking regulation to worry about.

  • anon

    How else to keep the riff-raff from parking on our streets my dear? Putting up gates is just impractical so lets give out big parking tickets to all the outsiders who are taking advantage of our lovely streets for their own selfish parking needs.
    As for tradesmen and the like, well, they will have to make do. People in trade are very resourceful, they can always park in DUMBO or one of those other Brooklyn places.

  • Remmy

    Can someone explain why the heck someone would pay top dollar to live in a neighborhood with excellent subway service and close proximity to Manhattan would want to own a car? I think 90% of the reason I moved here is because it is so easy get everywhere and take care of errands without ever needing a car. Not that I appreciate all of those SUVs parked on the sidewalk at the Maronite church every Sunday, but if they are spending money at local businesses I am happy. I would be even happier if those churches paid taxes, but that is another debate.

  • Josh

    Residential parking permits will only work if it is done city wide (e.g. Boston) otherwise there will always be a neighborhood that is at the frontier and will have people driving to that area to park – the idea of only having residential parking permits in some neighborhoods won’t work

  • ABC

    I’ve visited Boston and parts of DC where they have residential parking and figured it out.

    I’ve always been surprised by how many of people are “visiting” from Vermont, Massachusetts, etc. and seem to stay day after day, month after month, year after year.

    I think it has to go through if congestion pricing happens. BH already has too many people driving in from LI and taking the subway from here. There will be more of that.

    Residential Parking has many upsides, as anyone knows who has lived with it. One is that there are spaces allowed for tradespeople. Now, it’s impossible and they are forced to park illegally, or they call you to say they can’t find parking and thus can’t fix your oven/furnace/whatever. And there are garages too. I don’t think people who drive into NYC are thinking street parking is a given.

    They are proposing a trial in Heights and Ft Greene, right? I say give it a try.

  • elvis III

    Finding parking is a cost associated with having a car.

  • thoughts?

    whether you choose to have a car in brooklyn or not is not the point. the fact is all people who do have cars and pay NYC registration fees and NYC insurance and NYC taxes are subsidizing the people who keep out-of city addresses to duck the city tax and NYC insurance prices. these people live in the city but don’t pay their fair share of the bill. it is really a matter of fairness so that everyone who uses the city services should pay for city services. nothing more than that. with that being said, i give it a snowball’s chance in hell of passing.

  • McNulty

    I don’t drive, so this doesn’t affect me, but I think people in the Heights who insist on having cars are worse than people who might live someplace where cars are useful. So, I vote no resident parking.

  • ABC

    I think most people here use their cars to get to their weekend houses. They aren’t driving to work.

  • anon

    I assume tonight’s meeting will be endless complaints about people who own cars and how they should all be shot, etc etc.
    I will pass.

  • Tim N.

    The visitor argument is a non-starter. If its your neighborhood and you live there and you pay the taxes there, then the local government is obliged to stick up for your needs, not the needs of tourists. This was the argument against bike lanes for years (“where will visitors be able to park?” asked Iris Weinstall, who was supposed to be the New York City Commisioner of Transportation, not the head of the Tourist Board) and it drove me nuts (no pun intended).

    Another reason this is coming up now is that if congestion pricing goes through, then you will see more and more outsiders parking their cars in BH and hopping the train to avoid the congestion pricing toll. So those of you who think drivers are worse than Hitler should actually be in favor of this plan, because without it you’re about to be flooded with automobiles.

    Which raises the question for me: are people who live in Cobble Hill or Park Slope and drive worse than people who live in the Heights and drive?

  • anon

    I would rather pay a toll than try to find parking in brooklyn Heights. How stupid do you think people are? There isn’t enough parking here even for the residents. Most residents park in other neighborhoods or keep their cars garaged in Downtown or elsewhere. I worry about the people who work in the Hieghts but do not live here are they not part of the community? Am I not part of the community if I occassionally rent a car? How about if my elderly parents want to visit their grandson? They should take the subway from Morristown NJ?
    This idea is seriously flawed. It will inconvenience the group it aims to serve, namely residents and their friends, family and contractors.

  • thoughts?

    the line of reasoning behind contractors not having a place to park is a stretch at best. i cannot remember the last time i have seen a contractor park in a legit spot. they always park on the alternate side of the street.
    also – my guests have to put their respective cars in garages most of the times they visit because spots are not available.
    i think the argument is really about theft of services. people who have cars that use them to go up to houses on the weekend and have the cars registered up at the out-of town houses. whether you have car or not, if you are a NYC tax paying resident, you are being ripped-off by these people.

  • epc

    On any given day, about a third of the cars in the North Heights are from out of state. I doubt most of these are commuters (really, how many people commute to Brooklyn Heights from Elyria, Ohio? New Castle, PA? Florida?). I even doubt they’re students at the EHS dorm. They’re your neighbors who don’t want to pay NYC insurance rates.

    Personally I’d ban on-street parking entirely, it adds to congestion and is a “recent” innovation.

    And if you’re going to rent a car, use Zip-car and forget about worrying over parking it overnight.

  • Tim N.

    anon, I see your point. And I agree with your “how dumb are people?” argument. But we know the situation in BH because we live here. Others who have no connection whatsoever (residents, family, etc) do not know and they will be here looking for parking which we know doesn’t exist.

    I think most commuters will try this before paying the toll.

    And I see epc’s point, too, but frankly, registering your car out of state if you live here most of the time is illegal. While I hate the NYC rates, it’s hard to defend the argument. If you can register your car outside of NYC, good for you, but you’ll lose out on the benefit. You can’t have it both ways. Meanwhile, those of us who need it or could make use of it shouldn’t suffer for those who can get away with a scam.

  • anon

    Maybe I’m missing something but if you have a weekend home in say, rural Pensylvania, and you use your car to go back and forth between Brooklyn and Pa. why is it wrong or bad to register it there rather than here? It legitimately is used in both places. Probably more there because a car is needed for every errand in a rural place. Why all the hate for neighbors who may have a shack or a grand place in the country? When has it been illegal for out of town guests to come and visit and assume they can park on a public street? In places where the streets are acturally private like Tuxedo Park, residents have extra passes for guests etc. Before we get carried thinking this is such a great idea we should really think of how it will affect us on a day to day basis rather than merely on an ideological level.

  • epc

    I can’t cite specific law, but having been on the wrong side of it myself years ago, it is illegal to live in New York state and keep a car in New York state for more than 30 days without registering it with NY registration. Furthermore, if you have a weekend home in the Hamptons and you register your car there instead of NYC, you can potentially be liable for insurance fraud.

  • anon

    It is insurance fraud to register your car say at you sister’s house or your mother’s house, but if you own a house and it is your house that you pay taxes on, how is it insurance fraud to register your car at your house address? Your insurance company may want to know that you use it to drive to NYC and may want to know if you park it on the street or garage it, but the purpose of owning a car is to go places, sometimes even out of state. It is not illegal to register a car in one state and use it to travel, even for prolonged periods out of state. Geez.

  • ABC

    Well, just bcs people are for something doesn’t mean they haven’t thought it thru. Lots of places with residential parking have 2-hr guest passes, like Forrest Hills.

    You must legally license your car in your primary residence.

  • anonymous

    The residents of Forest Hills Gardens, like those of Tuxedo Park mentioned earlier, live in residential enclaves with private streets. That means they pay for the street repairs, for plowing and salting, etc. They are truly private, not public streets. The folks who live there have no worry about parking. They have private garages and driveways. When they invite a lot of people for a party they obtain extra passes. It is a nice secluded, exclusive, gated suburban life. Brooklyn Heights is the opposite of that. We may have been the first suburb but we are no longer suburban. We are a mixed residential/commercial neighborhood. A lot of people work here. Not everyone lives in a single family house, most people live in multiple dwellings. Many buildings that were built as single family houses have been cut up into four, five, six, eight or even more apartments. Brooklyn Heights ain’t Forest Hill gardens. It is a crowded, urban neighborhood. I think it is so misguided for certain folks to want to make it into a suburban neighborhood. It just isn’t. To me, this idea of turning the public curbs into an exclusive “members only” club is ridiculous. I know this appeals to the BHA. Anything that is “exclusive” appeals to them. But I, and I know others will fight this. It is a wrongheaded idea put forward by folks whose ideology trumps their common sense. What we need in the Heights is more parking, not more parking tickets.

  • anonymous

    My home care attendant drives in every weekday from Nassau County. She gets here early and always finds a parking spot. if this makes it illegal for her to park in my neighborhood I will use all the resources at my disposal to sue the BHA, the DOT, the Borough President, and anyone else involved in this travesty.

  • Mr Ed

    I really do not think that people trying to park here to avoid the toll will be a huge problem, real people who drive catch on quickly, Brooklyn Heights is hell on earth for parking. I wonder about the folks, especially the ones who drive trucks, who get to the birdge maybe at 5:30 or 5:35 and who need to kill thirty or so minutes. What will they do? I think they will take a sidestreet tour of Brooklyn Heights. If the boss tells them “I don’t want to see a $30 toll” -or $50 next year- the poor guy is going to have to either pull over to the shoulder or just toodle around the streets until 6:00 PM. This whole thing is assinine. It is old, Dinkins-era, Cuomo-era thinking. It is, literally, retarded. It is old fart thinking.

  • anon

    why would your employee be treated any differently than all other employees?

    is she somehow impaired and can’t take a train or park outside the zone?

    studies have shown that almost 50% of all local traffic are people looking for parking. this impacts all of us — from our children’s asthma rates to our environment. it’s not all about you.

  • Jo Ann

    My Upper East Side friend parks his car here because we have once a week street cleaning rules, while in Manhattan it’s at least twice a week. I’m sure he’s not the only one.

  • anon

    Jo Ann, if your friend from the UES parks here, he must be finding more than just accomodation for his car in the neib. What else is he finding a nice cozy niche for on your block? Hmmm?

  • anon

    You should look in your heart and ask yourself: Why am I such a self-ceneterd creep?

  • Teddy

    Anyone have an alternative to parking permits…that would possibly work ? Not that parking permits are guaranteed to work, but at the very least maybe we should give it a try. We do have a problem right now with drivers circling my block & every other block in the Heights several times looking for a space. When my mom moved here in early 60s, she told me it was much better with fewer cars, less pollution & more parking spaces for residents.

  • Eric

    How did the meeting go?

    For the record, I have a car in BH. I park it on the street. I drive it to see my parents out in LI, or down to my GF’s family’s summer home in NJ (during the summer.)

    I do the alt side dance (where I sit in the car for an hour in the mornign and an hour in the evening every Tuesday and catch up on my reading.) Its a chore, but not horribly painful.

    The parking permits would probably make my life considerably easier when Im returning to the neighborhood from LI or NJ. Often it takes me longer to find parking in BH than it does to drive here from LI. :/

  • anon

    Did anybody actually attend the meeting?
    What happened?