NEW YORK (1010 WINS/WCBS 880) — Parking at the meters in the Outer Boroughs may soon cost twice as much as it did two years ago. Now lawmakers and small business owners are outraged.
Two New York City Council members joined business leaders from Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx on Sunday to speak out against a proposed parking meter hike.
City Council members James Vacca, chair of the Committee on Transportation, and Diana Reyna, chair of the Committee on Small Business, gathered in Ridgewood, Queens to denounce Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to raise the cost of Outer Borough parking meters from $0.75 per hour to $1.00 per hour.
“The city is raising parking meter rates again. We think it’s outrageous, and we think it’s going to hurt small business, and it is certainly going to hurt motorists as we pay more and more for the basic privilege of parking on city streets,” Vacca said.
1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reports
The increase, which would be the second in two years, would double the rate of Outer Borough parking meters. The rates had previously held steady at $0.50 per hour for 17 years.
“People like him, who live in Manhattan, don’t have the reality of what neighborhoods like this are all about,” one small business owner said. “These people are struggling.”
Vacca said the estimated $3 million in city revenue just isn’t worth it, because the meter rate hike will send shoppers away from local stores.
“Motorists will often now just take their shopping to suburban malls, where they don’t have to pay any of these parking meter increases – but that means lost tax revenue for our city,” Vacca said.
Vacca and Reyna also announced plans to introduce legislation a measure that would make it harder for the mayor to raise parking meter rates, and limit hikes to 25 percent every five years unless the city grants special authorization.