NEW YORK (CBS 2) — A free Sunday perk could be kaput on New York’s Upper West Side if a community board has its way.
It seems that free metered parking on the day of rest is causing unrest for some in the neighborhood, reports CBS 2’s Scott Rapoport.
Will residents be saying goodbye to free parking on Sundays?
“That would be horrible. I don’t like that,” resident Oliver Hobert said.
That’s the proposed plan for the Upper West Side, according to a community board spearheaded by local businessman Marc Glazer.
“I want to start charging for metered parking on Sunday,” Glazer said.
Since 2005, Sunday parking has been free in the city after complaints from some churchgoers about having to constantly bolt from services to feed the meter.
Glazer, however, says that the free parking has been abused since then by residents, who stay in their spots for hours and hours. He says churchgoers can find their way to church without the parking.
“They walk to their houses of worship. They walk to church,” Glazer said.
Glazer said the lack of spots has hurt the neighborhood’s retail and restaurant businesses.
“I kind of wonder what somebody’s been smoking,” Reverend K. Carpen, fo the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew United Methodist, said.
At the church on 86th Street, Rev. Carpen said the proposal troubles him.
“I think it’s part of a bigger trend of lack of sensitivity and neighborly-ness,” he said.
As might be expected, many Upper West Side residents said they’d like to leave things just the way they are.
“Not good. I want it free,” Steve Panagiotopoulos said.
“Now we’re not going to be able to park our cars,” Elliot Gordon said. “We’re supposed to increase our quality of life, not decrease it.”
“It just seems like a recipe for disaster,” Joyce Barber said.
Gale Brewer, a council member for the Upper West Side, told CBS 2 that she will not introduce the proposal. She said it’s unclear whether the council can change the free parking law just for the Upper West Side, but she did say she’s looking into it.
CBS 2 called New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn for comment. Her staffers told CBS 2 that she has not taken a position on the issue, but is looking into it.