NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – On New York City streets, where parking is free for all, you see plenty of out of state license plates taking up valuable space.
One local lawmaker is proposing a big change that would curb the out-of-town invasion – residential parking permits.
“It’s being done in big cities all over America it’s time for New York to catch up,” New York City council member Mark Levine said.
One permit per household would let neighbors battle it out for parking, instead of everyone else from the Tri-state and far beyond.
“This is for quieter residential streets like this,” Levine explained.
“What it does do is keep suburban drivers from dumping their cars in your neighborhood.”
“You think that’s a good idea?” CBS2’s Dave Carlin asked one driver on New York’s bust streets.
“It is. Parking out here is bad,” the motorist said.
“I do think it’s a good idea because it’s already really difficult and it becomes a part-time job looking for parking here,” Rosana Rodriguez of Washington Heights added.
It would become a hardship, however, for a driver like Justin Knox of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey. Knox’s job brings him into the city regularly.
“Anything that would make it more challenging would be another obstacle,” Knox argued.
The New York City Department of Transportation would administer the program if passed, but the DOT does not support the bill.
DOT leaders claim residential parking permits would come at a significant cost to drivers and only have limited benefits.
Levine and others on the City Council are still pushing for this harder than ever because a bad problem gets worse if “fast track approval” comes for new tolls at 60th Street and below in Manhattan – better known as Gov. Cuomo’s controversial congestion pricing idea.
“It’s about to get much worse if we pass congestion pricing,” Levine warned.
He predicts parking problems would swell around subway stations as drivers park and ride trains south of 60th to avoid paying more.
“We’d like it to do now while congestion pricing is on the drawing board,” Levine said.
“We need to focus on the need,” council member Ydanis Rodriguez added.
Rodriguez also wants residential parking permits not just above Manhattans 60th Street but in Queens too. The lawmakers want a vote on this soon, but there’s no accelerated or specific time frame for one at the moment.