The Key for Park Slope to Keep Its Big Grocery Store: Less Parking

pslope_keyfood
The Park Slope Key Food site. Image: Avery Hall Investments via DNAinfo

The notion that New York City housing construction shouldn’t be weighed down by mandatory parking minimums got a combative response from some City Council members at a hearing today. Streetsblog will have a thorough round-up of who said what tomorrow morning. In the meantime, here’s a quick detour to Park Slope for a related story about how parking rules everything around us.

At issue is the redevelopment of a 36,000-square-foot Key Food and adjacent parking lot by Fifth Avenue in north Park Slope. The store sells groceries at affordable prices and is an emblem of the organizing that helped turn around the neighborhood in the 1970s and 80s. Replacing it is a big deal.

In addition to about 400 locals, Council Member Brad Lander, Borough President Eric Adams, and Public Advocate Tish James were on hand for the meeting last night where developer Avery Hall Investments presented its plan, DNAinfo reports. The project would consist of 165 apartments, ground floor retail, a car-free “piazza” between two new buildings — and 182 underground parking spots (the site currently has about 100 surface spaces).

The aspect that has people most up in arms is the smaller size of the replacement grocery store. It would only be 7,500 square feet, about one-fifth the size of the Key Food.

As Stephen Smith pointed out on Twitter, you can swap in a much bigger grocery store if you lose some parking:

Lander says the developer doesn’t want to apply for a waiver to the parking requirements, but some negotiated deal along these lines could be in the cards.

It’s a story that illustrates a terrible tradeoff happening all the time all over the city. In New York, it’s harder to acquire the necessities of life — food, shelter — because the law compels construction of something most New Yorkers don’t need at all — car storage.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Study: City Residential Parking Requirements Lead to More Driving

|
The New York City Department of City Planning is encouraging people to drive to work. Maybe not officially, but the agency’s minimum residential parking requirements are a big inducement to car commute. That’s the implicit finding of a new study by University of Pennsylvania planning professor Rachel Weinberger (and others, including yours truly, John Kaehny), […]

Park Slope Has Its Park(ing) Day

|
Evicted from their Park(ing) Day spot by the 78th Precinct last month, Park Slope Neighbors (with the PD’s permission) observed the event over the weekend. StreetFilms’ new producer Elizabeth Press was there, talking to participants, passers-by and motorists who support human-oriented use of valuable public space. There will be a Park(ing) Day celebration tonight in […]

Park Smart Pilot Has Cut Traffic in Park Slope, DOT Finds

|
Double parking on Fifth Avenue is one sign that the price of parking is too low. Photo: Ben Fried They call it No-Park Slope for a reason: At many times of day, motorists looking for a legit spot in this Brooklyn neighborhood wind up cruising the streets endlessly in frustration. Because on-street parking spaces are […]

The Other Livable Streets Showdown in Park Slope Tomorrow

|
By now you’ve probably heard about the big rally to defend the Prospect Park West bike lane tomorrow morning. Everyone who can attend should make every effort to get to Grand Army Plaza at 8:00 a.m. and show how deep the support for the PPW re-design runs. There’s another event happening tomorrow that has big […]

No Parking Slope

|
The B67 bus veers around a double-parked van blocking a car parked in front of a fire hydrant as a Bugaboo-pushing nanny strolls by Councilmember David Yassky and Transportation Alternatives director Paul Steely White calling for more sensible parking policy this afternoon in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Every drivers knows that it can be nearly impossible […]