NEW YORK (CBS 2) — There was a new parking decree Monday from Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Drivers will no longer be “nickeled and dimed” to death when they park on city streets.
Instead, they’ll need dollars.
As CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reports, metered parking is going up – again — as the mayor searches for more money to close his budget gap.
Bloomberg may be laying off city employees to close his budget gap, but there’s one job that seems secure — parking meter rate adjuster. The city just finished raising the cost of metered parking six months ago and now it’s going to do it again — just in time for New Years.
For the mayor, it’s the sound of music … music to his ears. It’s so good he’s doing it twice, raising parking meter rates for the second time in a year at more than 85,000 parking spots in all five boroughs.
But it’s definitely not music to the ears of drivers.
“I think the mayor should pay for it himself,” Upper West Side resident Jack Florin told Kramer. “Dip into his pocket instead of running for president in 2012, spending $150 million of his own money; I think he should put it to the city.”
“I may have to leave my job. It’s very painful. This city is very tough to survive in as it is and if you make it a lot tougher people will be leaving the city,” added Gene Beccali of Rockville Centre.
“He doesn’t want cars in New York City. It’s that simple,” said Jim Kober from Melville on Long Island, adding when asked how the mayor wants your money, “Oh sure, there never seems to be enough money in this city.”
In January parking rates will rise from 75 cents to $1 an hour in residential areas and from $2.50 to $3 an hour in commercial areas.
It was only six months ago that hourly rates went from 50 cents to 75 cents on residential streets and from $2 to $2.50 in commercial zones.
Officials said the city needs the money. The new hike will generate an extra $24 million and, they said, it’s still cheaper than a garage.
“The parking rate in Manhattan was very low. Historically the off streets are still far higher than the on street rates,” said Department of Transportation Deputy Commissioner Bruce Schaller. “I think people understand that the parking has been underpriced in Manhattan and understand the rationale behind the higher rates.”
At least one man Kramer spoke to does.
“I look at it this way: It’s a lot more cheaper than going into a parking lot. A parking lot can run you about $12 to $15 the first half hour,” said Dr. Henry Fishman of the Upper West Side.
The city also plans to expand a program called “Park Smart,” where parking rates in commercial areas are raised dramatically during peak hours to encourage turnover. Right now hourly rate in those areas is $3.75.