Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Parking Permit Q and A

With thanks to Streetsblog.org, here are some Q and A in regards to parking permits - which Forest Hills is eligible for.

I urge all residents to support residential parking permits. A recent study done by the DOT (and presented at the workshop last week) revealed that 30% of weekday parkers in FoHi drive cars with license plates registered outside NYC. That's higher than even Park Slope (27%) which is famous for having no parking. It also doesn't take into account city residents from Glendale and Middle Village who park here and take the trains because they have no other option. Congestion Pricing will only make this much worse.

Write your community board and the DOT and tell them you want residential parking permits. We need to cut down the traffic and pollution. We cannot be a park and ride for Manhattan.

Q: When will there be a pilot program? A: If congestion pricing goes according to plan, a test RPP program would go into effect prior to spring 2009.

Q: What political authorization is necessary to proceed with RPP? A: The city can implement a temporary pilot on its own, but it needs state approval for a permanent RPP program.

Q: Will DOT hold forums in Sunset Park, Windsor Terrace, and other neighborhoods? A: DOT wants to be in touch with neighborhoods and anticipates talking to different Community Boards about RPP.

Q: How will boundaries be determined? A: DOT will look to community boards to help decide. The size of a zone should be reasonably compact, conforming to notions of what a neighborhood is (i.e. not just a few square blocks, but not half the borough either).

Q: Why give local employees permits at all? A: One view is that they contribute to the local economy and should be accommodated, another is that they should take transit or park off-street like other non-residents. Some sort of balance based on the context of the neighborhood is probably desirable.

Q: Won't the only stores that can withstand RPP be big boxes and those with big parking lots? A: No, most people who shop at local merchants are already parking at meters, so RPP wouldn't affect them. (That was the answer given; no one said anything about all the people who walk, bike, or take transit to shop and eat out.)

Q: What about people whose cars are registered outside the neighborhood in order to get cheaper car insurance -- will they be eligible for permits? A: There was no firm answer to this at first, then a consensus seemed to emerge that RPP permits should be based on where cars are registered, which would bring insurance cheats in line.

Q: What steps will be taken to ensure that permits are not loaned, stolen, or sold? A: They will
have the license plate or vehicle registration number on them.