City to Designate Ten Parking Spots in the Heights to Rideshare Vehicles

Oh boy, this is bound to incite a rousing debate. WPIX reports that the City has chosen 14 neighborhoods for its two-year pilot program to designate certain parking spots to rideshare companies such as Zipcar. Park Slope and Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens will have to relinquish 30 spots each. Boerum Hill will have to do without 20, and Brooklyn Heights and Red Hook, 10 each.

Photo credit: By Herzi Pinki (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.

Share this Story:

  • Banet

    So the question is this — does the increased ease of finding a ride share vehicle convince at least 11 car owners in the Heights to sell their car?

    Personally, I doubt it. :-/

  • Avi

    That’s not the only question. It’s also “will the car share spots provide more utility to the vast majority of Heights residents who don’t own cars?”, which to me is an obvious yes.

  • Banet

    Good point. And agreed. Most locals don’t have cars. And if these rideshare cars cut down on cars circling the block looking for parking, then we all win.

  • Teresa

    Will just make it harder for me to find a spot for the car I need for work. That’s not an argument against. But with additional people in the neighborhood because of more apartments + spots lost to CitiBike ( the latter an unequivally good thing), parking gets increasingly difficult. That is not mutually exclusive with this being a good idea.

  • Banet

    Also, Park Slope is vastly larger than Brooklyn Heights so the 30 spots won’t be as painful for them. Also, we get hit with commuters who leave their car here and take the subway into Manhattan. AND we have a ton of spaces taken up by false placards. And with a number of short blocks we lose a greater percentage of our street length to Fire Zones.

    I’m not against these parking spaces — I’m just pointing out that our neighborhood is exceptionally parking challenged. :-/

  • Reggie

    That has been the case in other cities that have tried this. Remember, this is a test to see if the idea will work, not a full-on adoption of a new program.

  • Arch Stanton

    Statistically, about 46% of NYC households own a car. Granted, It may be a little less in the Heights, given our proximity to ample mass transit but it’s hardly a “vast majority who don’t own cars”.

  • Arch Stanton

    “Most locals don’t have cars” Where are you getting your information from, besides assumption?

  • Andrew Porter

    How about 60 to 75% don’t own cars here? 46% is in NYC overall. The following, from 2012, shows that car ownership in BH is only 25-40%:

    Figures are skewed by Staten Island and eastern Queens, with fewer transit options.

  • Arch Stanton

    A six yer old study, Car ownership is actually going up in NYC. Also, the Heights is an affluent area, where people can well afford a car.

  • Reggie

    You criticize Andrew for providing 2012 analysis by EDC and then you link to a blog post from 2011? Here is an 2017 analysis from TA:

  • Arch Stanton

    Actually, I think parking is even worse in the Slope. I also don’t buy the “commuter parking” theory, at least on any significant level.

  • Reggie

    Car ownership is flat on a per-capita basis. It is growing because the population is increasing.

  • Arch Stanton

    Yes, The population is certainly growing here in the heights, therefore more cars.

  • Arch Stanton

    The comprehensive study I provided link to was from October 2016. the blog post was to show even anti car sites agree.
    PS your link is dead?

  • Banet

    Wouldn’t be surprised if parking is more halkenfing in the Slope. I expect that the inferior subway access leads to higher car ownership. But per capita I think they’re losing far, far fewer spaces.

    As far as commuters parking to take the subway, I’d love to hear people weigh in. I have no personal experience but I’ve heard the theory for decades and there are certainly a surprising number of people looking for parking in the morning… but they could be people who work in the Municipal buildings or people who got a late start on Alternate Side Parking.

  • Banet

    Personally, I don’t need any studies to tell me that most residents of Veooklyn Heights don’t have cars — it’s just obvious. Even including the in-neighborhood AND nearby garages with the street spaces there’s not *remotely* enough spaces for even half of us to own a car.

    And really, the people who Park in garages shouldn’t even be factored in. These Car Share spaces only negatively directly affect the tiny percent of residents who street park. That’s got to be what? 10%?

    I’d happily trade a public resource — street parking — that negatively impacts 10% of us to benefit the other 90%.

    (And as long as we’re on the topic, I think it’s absurd that a public resource — curb space — should be given away for free to the minority’s to choose to own a car. There should be street parking permits and they should cost a substantial amount, not a token fee.)

  • StudioBrooklyn

    Astute as always. I’d quibble with whether the fake placard cars take spots from regular motorists since they usually park in otherwise “no parking” spots; their sin, as far as I’m concerned, is twofold: (1) they potentially block emergency vehicles and (2) they game the system and that just rubs me the wrong way.

    Also, it strikes me as fishy that suddenly public parking spots can be bought. (For how much?) What’s wrong with these companies buying spots in garages and lots, as they have been doing? This smells distinctly DeBlasian…

  • Banet

    I’d argue one way the fake placards take spots from other drivers is parking on the “alternate” side before alternate hours open up. This forces other who just want switch side to meander all over the neighborhood looking for parking.

    They also monopolize meters, which leads to short-term parkers taking the occasional long-term spot.

    As far as the rideshare spaces being “bought” by private companies I’d argue that 1) there are not enough centrally locates garages in the Heights for them to use. Really, there’s just the one by Gristede’s. The one on State has a waiting list and the one on Montague doesn’t allow customer access. Probably more important is visibility. Seeing the spaces, empty or full, will help people realize it’s an option.

    My biggest concern is if some of these spaces sit empty for long stretches. That’s really going to turn people against the services.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    If by “the one by Gristede’s” you mean underneath the 75 Henry building, I’d add the garage under 300 Cadman Plaza West (from which I’ve definitely rented Zipcars in the past), as well as another behind it on Clinton near the St. Ann’s high school main building. The precedent, though, is that for the right sum it’s possible to buy a designated spot on the street, right?

  • deancollins

    Anyone know how they are going to be handled “street cleaning”. Im a zipcar

    User, and one of the things I liked about
    their service in 75 Henry was that they didn’t make you park the cars on the street unlike that blue and white rental company where drivers kept leaving their cars “on the street” which interfered with street cleaning.

    Its bad enough trying to get people to move their cars on Henry St for the cleaning truck to come along at the best of times……(why the don’t have a cop car following it writing tickets I’ll never know).

    This said….we have this dedicated share car parking system operating in Sydney and it works great with a number of people I know swapping their ‘private car’ out for using share car services due to not using it enough and making more sense to hire.

  • Greg

    I don’t even know what you’re trying to argue.

    Someone said “the vast majority” of residents here don’t have a car.

    You suggested the percentage is “about 46%”.

    Andrew Porter correctly responded the percentage here is 60-75%.

    You countered with two links that both confirmed, not refuted Andrew Porter’s claim.

    From your first link: “keeping the per capita car ownership rate in the city stable at 0.22 vehicles per resident.” [i.e. per capita car ownership hasn’t changed]

    From the spreadsheet source of your second link, % of car-free homes in Assembly District 52: 60.87% (i.e. exactly what Andrew Porter claimed).

    The original claim that 60% isn’t a “vast” majority is reasonable enough. But everything after is an unsupported assertion that absolute increase in car ownership implies per capita changes there’s no evidence for.

    So… what’s the disagreement?

  • Greg

    See my last comment. All data shared by anyone including you prove that most locals in the neighborhood don’t have cars.

    The assumption that this is otherwise remains completely unsupported. Combined with multiple sources of data showing the opposite, that reads like a sound and well-supported claim to me.

  • Reggie

    Street cleaning regulations will be eliminated at those parking spaces. The carshare companies will be responsible for cleaning the streets.

  • deancollins

    Ha ha….like that’s going to happen.

  • Andrew Porter

    Yes, more babies, all driving kiddie cars.

    Personally, I don’t drive, don’t have a car. But I find your insistence that you’re right and everyone and all other sources are wrong troubling.

  • Banet

    The more I think about it, the more I realize that there are a few garages sprinkled around the residential buildings of the neighborhood. There’s one on Willow, on the east side, closer to Pierrepont than Clark. There’s also one in the building on the corner of Joralemon and Henry with the ramp on Joralemon. But both of those are for residents only I expect — there’s no way into the garage without going through the building lobby. Also, the new building going up where the library was will have a garage and I expect the monster going up on Montague/Pierrepont might have one.

  • John

    How much are these for-profit companies paying the city to use public land? it better be a heck of a lot. Zipcar now leases space at local and neighboring garages.

    Estimating market rate at $300 a month per spot, that’s 360,000 annually plus the promotional value which is much higher.

    Have they chosen spots? If not, I suggest the road along Hillside Park (perpendicular to Columbia) or along Cadman Plaza, on park side somewhere btw Clark and Middagh.

    And they should have to move them for movies, etc.

  • Banet

    Reggie, interesting info. Where did you get that?

    And I expect it might happen. These companies are motivated to make this work. People were concerned about cleaning the street by Citibike racks and years later they don’t seem to be a real problem.

  • CHatter

    I know this has been tried before and failed, but at some point I have to believe that reason will prevail and some form of neighborhood resident-only parking restrictions will come to Brooklyn. With individual meters now gone and replaced with ticket stations and convenient smartphone payment apps, it would be really very easy to equip all blocks with metered parking. Residents with stickers would be exempt, and those who are not would be limited to 2-hour parking, dissuading daytime commuter parkers (if they exist) from clogging spaces all day and more frequent rotation of spaces from nonresidents complying with the rule. So (1) more parking for residents, (2) less time and fuel waste (and traffic frenzy) associated with people circling around searching for spots and (3) more revenue for the City.