Want a More ‘Civilized’ Parking Experience? Raise Meter Rates

A Times analysis of parking enforcement trends is raising the hackles of local pols, who see the rising number of citations as evidence supporting pet theories about traffic agent quotas:

City officials say their parking enforcement is not driven by revenue goals. But City Councilman Vincent J. Gentile said his district in southwest Brooklyn has been so overrun by traffic agents that it is hard to conclude otherwise.

"It’s a growing recognition that the city is using parking enforcement
as a means of revenue generation, not as a means of traffic management
or safety management," he said.

City Council Transportation Committee chair John Liu went so far as to issue a press release calling on the city to scale back parking enforcement:

Liu said he and his fellow Transportation Committee members have worked
to reduce unfair ticket writing, increase transparency in the world of
parking enforcement and make parking in the city "a more predictable
and civilized experience" through efforts like a bill that required DOT
to post on its Website all parking restrictions for each block.

Here’s another way to cut down on the number of citations for double-parking, blocking fire hydrants, and obstructing bus lanes: raise meter rates.

DOT is moving in this direction with its PARK Smart pilot program in Greenwich Village. Of course, higher meter rates would still raise revenue and depend on adequate enforcement to achieve the desired effect. This seems like a fair price to assess on vehicles that take up scarce public space and impose billions of dollars in costs on the population of New York. But if PARK Smart ramps up and expands to other parts of the city, will any New York pols be bold enough to recognize it as "civilized" parking practice, or will it, too, get branded as a cash cow?

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

City Council Members: Down With Parking Enforcement

|
Councilmen Weprin, Felder, and Gentile protest the injustice of enforcing the law. Photo: Daily Politics Sick of walking around cars parked on the sidewalk? Fed up with the excessive traffic cruising for parking spots in your neighborhood? Tough luck. A gaggle of City Council members has got nothing for you, but they do want to […]

First Post-Election Business for City Council: Making Traffic Worse

|
Looks like the City Council is ready to assert itself in the wake of Michael Bloomberg’s underwhelming re-election to a third term. They’ve chosen to draw a line in the sand, apparently, by creating more congestion on New York City’s streets. To signal their displeasure with law enforcement, Council members David Weprin, Simcha Felder, and […]

Council District 20: Who Will Replace the Mercurial John Liu?

|
L-r: Council candidates S.J. Jung, John Choe, Evergreen C. Chou, James Wu and Isaac Sasson Outgoing Council Member John Liu has been a fickle legislator when it comes to livable streets. While the transportation committee chair might endorse congestion pricing, he was also a staunch defender of the mythical put-upon working stiff whose very survival […]

Two Doubleparked Traffic Agents, Sunnyside Up

|
Breakfasting NYPD traffic enforcement agents doubleparked at 97th St. and Amsterdam Ave. this morning Being a New York City traffic enforcement agent couldn’t be an easy job. If the cops are the city’s "Finest" and the firefighters the "Bravest," traffic enforcement agents have to be the "Most Disliked-est." Angry confrontations with ticketed motorists must be a regular part of the job. Certainly, the drivers of cars 7408 and […]