Area Near Barclays Center Said To Be Troublesome; Prices Likely 'Reasonable'By Marcia Kramer

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s rarely easy finding a spot in New York City, but now a new proposal could make your life a lot less stressful.

City residents may soon be given neighborhood parking permits, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

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Imagine gaining membership in an exclusive club, one that reserves 80 percent of the parking spots in your neighborhood just for people like you.

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“It’s an idea that’s long overdue. In communities from downtown Brooklyn to western Queens and upper Manhattan, people don’t measure the amount of time they have to drive around in minutes. They’re measuring it in hours,” said State Sen. Daniel Squadron, D-Brooklyn.

“You can do it in a way that protects small businesses and it improves quality of life – you don’t have folks circling for minutes or even hours,” Squadron told 1010 WINS.

And that’s why Sen. Squadron has introduced a bill that is finally getting traction to establish residential parking permits. The cost has yet to be worked out, but it would be a “reasonable” annual fee.

“In other cities it’s everything from as low as $20 to as high as about $100, never prohibitive,” Sen. Squadron said.

The local parking issue is a big concern in Brooklyn neighborhoods near the new Barclays Center, which is set to open next year with only limited space in its parking lot.

“A study found that 40 percent of all parkers in the downtown Brooklyn area are commuters,” Squadron said.

“There are only 1,100 spaces, which I think is a lot for a surface parking lot but never the less it’s 1,100 spaces for a 19,000-seat arena,” Brooklyn community activist Joanne Simon told Kramer.

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“Parking is horrendous. To have a dedicated spot would be great,” Park Slope resident Ben Nachumi added.

“I think residents should get a preference,” another person added.

But people who have to work in local neighborhoods raise questions.

“Bad idea. I’m a visiting nurse and I don’t get a parking permit and it’s hard enough to park over in this neighborhood as it is,” Maspeth resident Mary Ide said.

“It would be way harder to find a spot for the people that work here so that would be a bad idea for me,” added Maspeth’s Gregory Jaworowski.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg supported residential parking permits as part of his failed congestion pricing plan, but now he says he’s not so sure. He’s worried about parking for local businesses.

There is a City Council hearing Wednesday on the proposal, which would allow the city Department of Transportation to sell permits on a neighborhood by neighborhood basis.

Under the proposal, some of the permit fees would go into New York City Transit to improve bus and subway service.

“A lot of folks who drive and then park in another neighborhood aren’t doing it because they want to, they’re doing it because the public transit options aren’t as good as they should be,” Squadron told 1010 WINS.

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Marcia Kramer