44 Precious Spots Eliminated In What Some Say Is A Misguided Green Initiative

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s a good news, bad news trade-off in lower Manhattan.

A rat-infested city park is being renovated, but the project has eliminated a precious commodity — dozens of public parking spots, reports CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.

Call it the “lower Manhattan loop” or the “Centre Street circle.”

“I circled at least like three times before I could find this little area to at least pull over,” one driver said Wednesday.

“There’s no parking in the area, unless you’re a city vehicle,” another driver said.

There is reserved parking for an alphabet soup of city agencies — on the streets near Manhattan Criminal Court.

But parking for everyday drivers such as Fred Kubler is almost a futile exercise.

“It’s very hard around here – impossible,” Kubler said.

Especially since the Department of Transportation lot at Leonard and Centre streets was eliminated a few months back.

Looking at the area with a birds-eye view from Google Maps, a whopping 44 parking spots were wiped out to make room for an expansion of Collect Pond Park.

There’s no question the park needed some tender loving care. It was an absolute pit — more popular with rodents than with residents.

Last year a blogger posted a YouTube video showing a Collect Pond Park rat infestation, but with Columbus Park one block east and Paine Park one block south, some wonder if eliminating 44 precious parking spots to expand this park was really necessary.

The coffee guy on the corner said he’s been hearing lots of complaints.

“There’s no parking. People are double parking, getting tickets and everything,” street vendor Nav Hamidi said.

Kubler said he senses a master plan to frustrate drivers.

“Yes, to push more people just to take public transportation, a bus, cabs, instead of coming into the city. Because it’s pretty hard to drive around here, and parking is the worst,” said Kubler, who lives in Massapequa.

Happy hunting.

The city said the land used by the parking lot always belonged to the Parks Department, and claims the loss of the parking spots has had “no detectable impact” on the area.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below …

Watch & Listen LIVE