NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Who would want to pay more for parking?
Some Upper West Side resident do and they say they have a good reason.
“There are some times where I would get to the point of tears because it’d be hours,” Natalie Kovach said.
Kovach will never get back those hours spent circling her block in search of a parking spot.
“It’s a lot of people outside of this area and maybe work downtown or live in Jersey or wherever… are driving here, leaving their cars, and commuting to work,” Kovach claimed.
If she thinks that’s a problem now, many residents say just wait until congestion pricing starts in 2021.
Web Extra: Community Board 7 Member Discusses Ending Free Parking
Drivers will be charged a toll for entering Manhattan below 60th Street.
“It might get worse now that the congestion zone is just a few blocks south of here,” Howard Yaruss of Community Board 7 said.
Yaruss is on the board representing 59th Street to 110th Street.
He wants the city to do away with free parking there and replace it with metered spots for visitors and parking permits for residents.
“Free parking encourages private car use,” Yaruss added.
City councilman Mark Levine sponsored a bill that goes one step further and would create a permit parking system from 60th Street all the way to the top of Manhattan.
“This would be a step forward in limiting congestion and encouraging suburbanites to take mass transit,” Levine said.
Right now, there aren’t any neighborhoods in New York City with residential parking permits. So far, its proponents here haven’t decided how much those permits should cost.
“I think it’s ridiculous… parking should be free here,” Upper West Side resident Debra Kravet said.
“It’s very expensive to park in the parking garages,” Chris Baskin of Saratoga Springs argued. “When they do park here, they walk through the neighborhoods, they buy things, they see people.”
“They may be paying a small amount to park on the street, but they’ll be gaining something a safer, more livable community and less congestion,” Yaruss claimed.
The city’s transportation department told CBS2 it’s reviewing the proposal.