Squadron, Millman Push Residential Parking Permits

Our local elected state representatives, State Senator Daniel Squadron and Assemblywoman Joan Millman, are supporting legislation that would enable the issuance of parking permits to residents of various neighborhoods throughout the City, including Brooklyn Heights. In each of these localities, eighty per cent of parking spaces would be reserved for local residents. There will be a hearing on the proposal hosted by the City Council tomorrow starting at 10:30 a.m. at 250 Broadway, just across Broadway from City Hall.

New York Post: “Permit parking is long overdue in Downtown Brooklyn, Western Queens, Upper Manhattan and other communities where residents must circle for hours trying to find parking near their homes,” said state Sen. Daniel Squadron, who is co-sponsoring the legislation with another Brooklyn Democrat, Assemblywoman Joan Millman.

The Post story mentions Brooklyn Heights as one of the neighborhoods “that have long been abused as virtual park-and-rides for mass transit commuters”. Under the proposal, a fee would be charged for the permits, and the City would decide what hours they would be in effect.

Reminder: Senator Squadron’s Community Meeting is this evening, from 6:30 to 8:00, at the Dodge YMCA, Classroom A, 225 Atlantic Avenue (between Court Street and Boerum Place).

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  • liam

    as much as this seems like a good idea on paper, i think that it would be almosy unenforcable and confusing. i agree that we have become a parking lot for manhattan commutors, especially on tues. and wed.in bklyn hgts. on the 8:am changeover i now have to move before 7:00 am to get a spot! something should be done but i dont think parking permits and another layer of bureaucracy will help.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/13189502@N02/ Eddyenergizer

    Unenforceable? are you kidding, with the army of traffic agents out and about it would be easy to enforce, “no sticky get a tickey”. The problem is, when you actually want to use your car and park in another neighborhood. It will cut both ways.

  • http://www.flashlightworthybooks.com Flashlight Worthy

    This generally worked well in Washington DC — where I lived for a decade, with the one exception of visiting a friend. What happens when you drive to Prospect Heights on a Tuesday afternoon to spend some time at a friend’s house? Where do you park?

  • epc

    Easy to enforce: only vehicles registered in the given zone get permits. Out of state plates are easy to pick out and target. Out of region but NYS plates can get scanned by the registration sticker or EZPASS.

    Other cities have implemented various forms of this, there’s nothing particularly special about NYC other than the belief in a g–d given right to park your car on the street at all hours even if you’re not an NYC resident.

  • epc

    My reply was out of sequence but…generally there’s a limited supply of short term (<2-3 hour) parking set aside for short term visits.

  • ABC

    you know who this is really hard on? all those people who register their car at their second home to avoid insurance premiums. oh wait — I don’t care about those people!

    seriously, we can discuss if this is a good idea or not but don’t get confused that it’s not enforceable. they’ve been doing this in London and DC and Boston and Queens (!) for decades. we are not inventing the wheel here.

  • liam

    well i guess my neighbors thought it thru better than i.
    i really would like to see it happen, but i still think of unintended consequences.

  • x

    DO it! I’m all for it and I dont drive

  • Still here

    Anyone know what the boundaries of the zone are?

  • epc

    Unintended consequences, like allowing people to park on the street for free in the first place, thereby creating congestion in Brooklyn Heights, thereby making it a nightmare to get deliveries, or pickup/dropoffs or anything that actually requires traffic to move?

    Or unintended consequences like people being forced to actually register their vehicles in NYC and share the insurance burden with the rest of us saps who don’t have a second home to use for registration?

    Or unintended consequences like realizing it’s a pain in the ass to own and maintain a car in one of the best neighborhoods for mass transit in the city and using the savings from giving up the car to pay for the occasional taxi or car service when mass transit won’t work?

    Those sorts of unintended consequences?

  • Willow St. Neighbor

    I had a relative who lived in Cambridge, MA and he always found a parking spot close to his apartment. I was amazed every time he found a spot. When I remarked about his ability to park so close to his apartment he simply stated that he had a resident parking permit.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/13189502@N02/ Eddyenergizer

    People who register their cars at second homes to cheat lower premiums are taking a huge risk. If they ever are in a serious accident the ruse is likely to be exposed and the’ll be facing charges of insurance fraud.

  • PromGal

    Wonderful idea! This idea has worked well in other places. It worked very well when I lived in London, where they have used that system for 30+ years.

    We in Brooklyn Heights pay real estate taxes, in addition to the heaviest triple tax burden imaginable. For this who choose not to register their cars here, well, that’s a choice.

    So many spaces taken up by JoHos who come to spend time in “Bethel”, do not pay taxes here, are just freeloaders who use all our facilities, police, fire, etc paid by the NYC taxpayer, and contribute nothing.

  • WillowtownCop

    It doesn’t have to be a crash. Every time I pulled someone over who had out of state documents and claimed to live in NY were reported to both the Attorney General (there’s a hotline) and the insurance company.

  • PromGal

    Owning a car is a personal choice. Most of us want and need our cars, and don’t want other people’s choices to be forced down our throats. Public transportation is not a choice for everyone all the time. Most Heights residents are not single under 30’s. Many older folks live here, and many families with 2,3, or 4 children.
    Would you take your infant or toddler on a noisy, crowded, dirty subway? I won’t.
    I am all for residential parking spaces, and think a small yearly fee for the ID permit would be well worth the money.
    Think of all the money you could save on parking tickets!

  • someone

    Now in addition to paying 18% tax on a parking garage 12 minutes away from home, now I have to pay for a residental parking permit for the rare instance where I come home late from work and choose to park close to home on an “leave by 8 AM spot”? Not even mentioning the tax on gasoline. Trust me I wish I could use public transportation to work and get rid of the car! I wish the days back where my monthly transportation expense was the cost of a monthly metro card and not $500 monthly for parking and gas only, not included any services for the car.

  • BH’er

    Best idea ever and long overdue! Not only will it reduce congestion but it should help recoup the cost of maintaining the roads – from paving, maintenance, plowing, etc.!

    Car owners should be paying the cost of the roads and bridges (esp. East of the river) they use. There is no cost excuse – if you can’t afford to pay for parking – you can’t afford to have a car here!

    There should be a high cost to it, as well! The city should monetize the parking spaces to the max of their value, which is the equivalent of a garage space – 50,000 residents shouldn’t have to build and maintain parking spaces for 500 car owners – I’d rather have clear streets.

    Cars plated in other states cheat NYC of the fees that should pay for the services, not to mention the insurance fraud all these guys are committing!

    Until people start paying for the resources they are consuming, we’re never going to have a healthy economy.

  • BH’er

    PromGal & someone – that is the cost of living here! If you don’t want to take your 4 kids on a ‘filthy’ subway or pay for a nightly parking spot (be it in a garage or at the curb) then this isn’t the place for you!

    It costs money to provide these things and the people who use them need to pay for them!

    There is a tax on the garage, tax on the gas, fees at the DMV, insurance premiums, etc. because those are the costs for providing the services car owners use – from the roads, snow plows & salting, parking, congestion, pollution, etc.

    MTA riders don’t need to subsidize your auto expenses!

  • silly

    here we go again. if you own a car and complain about parking you are silly. it makes no sense. if you don’t want to take your kid on the subway, you are silly. Guess who owns the streets…NOT YOU, otherwise you would be able to park where and when you want, but you don’t. I own a car park on the street, have kids, take the subway. I deal with it and I am lucky to live here…period. Get your minds right…you’re not pioneers taking land. this isn’t manifest destiny. Get a garage and you can park all you want, wake up early , you can park no problem. Snap out of it.

  • Still here

    Silly, you are not!

  • Still here

    Here is a good link with many good comments on this subject: http://www.brownstoner.com/blog/2009/05/residential-par/

  • Quinn Raymond

    This is an extremely interesting topic and proposal. I think there will be a lot of unintended consequences, but the legislation is a net positive, especially since it will be funding the MTA. I am tentatively supporting it.

    I would suggest making the fee for the parking permits rather high though, say at least 50% of the cost of a space in a nearby private lot. The rational is thus: once you make these spots for Brooklyn Heights residents only, you are effectively taking them out of the public realm. At that point, the City should be obligated to get the best price possible for the spots. This would also discourage local Heights residents who do not currently own cars from getting them now that parking is easier.

    You could also provide a senior-citizen/disabled discount so that those who do genuinely need cars could have them.

    Here is a link to the actual legislation as currently proposed:

  • Quinn Raymond
  • carol

    Let me start by saying I support resident permit parking.

    But I realize it is not a guarantee of a parking space. What I believe it will do is discourage drivers from using Brooklyn Heights as a park-n-ride or for all day commuter parking. There should be less cruising around by drivers in search of parking or what I called “spot stalking” – this is when you are walking down the street and a motorist slows down to ask you if you are going to your car.
    The streets will be safer with less cruising and maybe the dishwasher repairman will have an easier time finding parking.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlsiLOnWCoI Arch Stanton

    QR, “at least 50% of the cost of a space in a nearby private lot.” Thats ridiculous. What would one get for such an exorbitant fee? There would be no guarantee of getting a spot. Your car would still be on the street vulnerable to vandalism & theft and still need to be moved on alternate days.

  • zburch

    All for it, for a variety of reasons….

  • Gerry

    I have no parking problems in Brooklyn Heights because I have a NYC Parking Placard on my dashboard I am on call 24/7.

    If these permits ever happen I hope that my parking priviledges are not affected I need to get out fast in an emergency and so I must park in front of my home.

  • Quinn Raymond


    People are coming at this legislation from different points of view, and the devil is in the details…

    If the goal is truly to reduce local congestion while generating revenue for the cash-strapped MTA, then the City should charge as much as it can. There are plenty of local people who will pay– the advantage of these spots compared to a parking garage is that it will be much more likely that you’ll be able to find a spot on your block, instead of having to walk all the way to the lot/garage several blocks away. If priced correctly, there should be slightly more spots available than cars looking for spots at any moment.

    If you’re going to remove these spots from the broader public use and assign them just to an exclusive group (meaning us), you need to charge as much as you can get for them– just as if you were going to sell City-owned property.

    My point is that you either need to make these spots available to everyone including people from outside the Heights (which is fair), or you need to get the best price you can for them (which is also fair). Anything in between these two options is inherently unfair, and worse, not likely to achieve the stated goals of the legislation (which is to reduce congestion, improve safety, etc…).

    The danger is that currently car-less Heights residents will buy cars, and those who already do have cars will see it as an opportunity to drive more– defeating the whole point.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlsiLOnWCoI Arch Stanton

    QR If you bothered to actually read any of the articles on the issue, you would know, the goal is not “to reduce local congestion while generating revenue for the cash-strapped MTA”. The goal is to make parking easier for the residents of neighborhoods affected by large numbers of transient parkers. Reduction in congestion is a good thing and would be a benefit of the plan regardless of the cost of a permit. You seem to make assumptions that owning a car is just a luxury and everyone in the neighborhood could easily afford to pay some exorbitant fee. Newsflash: there are many people who actually need their cars and are not in a position to start paying hundreds of dollars a month to park it; how does that fit in to your ethic of “fair/not fair”? It is a quality of life issue, you don’t need to hang a dollar sign on everything.

    More here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqBKV0IXlDo&feature=youtu.be

  • Quinn Raymond


    I’ve read plenty of articles on the topic, and as I said people are coming at this from different points of view. Here’s a good article for you to read, which weighs these differing opinions:


    Overwhelmingly the most common justification for the plan from our electeds is that it will reduce congestion.

    The proportion of people who “need their cars” in our neighborhood is actually quite low compared to anywhere else in the city. We have 9 subway lines, plenty of buses, and lots of cabs (at least by Brooklyn standards). We also have bike lanes.

    As previously stated, you could provide discounted permits for disabled and elderly, who certainly need cars more than the rest of us. And yes, I understand some people do need their vehicles for work– but daily car commuting should be heavily discouraged in this area. It is, indeed, a “luxury” and should be priced as such.

    If you look at the data you will see that car owners actually are a small minority of all Brooklyn Heights residents and despite this, their cars take up an overwhelmingly disproportionate amount of public space– block after block. In many places our sidewalks (used by many) are narrower than our parking lanes (used by few).

    This is unfair to the rest of the community, and is more than just a “quality of life” issue– it is a safety and air quality issue as well.

    I fully accept that people have the right to drive, even in our transit-rich neighborhood. What do I not accept is that these folks should be so heavily subsidized.

    It’s only fair. :)