NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – More parking spots are disappearing across New York City.
The Department of Transportation plans to eliminate 100 traditional parking spaces to make room for electric vehicle charging stations, CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reported. Those spots are located in 29 neighborhoods across the five boroughs.
Drivers will pay based on how long they’re plugged in – kind of like a parking meter – at a rate comparable to the cost of gas.
The charges will be placed in the busiest parts of town, like near hospitals and universities. They will also go in areas that have a higher prevalence of electric cars.
West End Avenue between 66th and 70th streets and West 86th Street by Riverside Park are among proposed sites, which are usually in high-traffic areas.
Like so many neighborhoods in the city, street parking is a commodity there.
“Usually in the evenings, you’re fighting for spots and you’re sitting in your car waiting, or you’re forced to use a garage and pay a high monthly rate,” Upper West Side resident Jonathan Williams said.
“I think, you know, the problem, though, is where. I think anytime you do anything in Manhattan — because real estate is so valuable, and I don’t just mean apartments, I mean bike lanes and all that kind of stuff — where are you going to put them?” Upper West Side resident Deborah Hernan said.
Upper West Side resident Nick Heilbut owns an electric car.
“It’s clearly the direction that automobiles are heading in, and the city should be prepared,” he said.
Heilbut is in the minority, as there are fewer than 10,000 electric cars are registered in the city.
“It’s good for the environment. It’s probably in the long term going to be less expensive. The cars perform at a much higher level than combustion engine cars do. So I think it’s inevitable,” Heilbut said.
The pilot program aims to help the city meets its stringent environmental goals and encourage electric car ownership.
“I think people don’t buy electric cars because it’s inconvenient. You know, you have to find a spot where you can charge it and stuff,” Upper West Side resident Ksenia Nober said.
The DOT is taking an “if you build it, they will come” approach.
The four-year pilot program will also test if the city can financially sustain it on a broader scale. Con Edison is paying for the design and installation of the charging stations.
- To learn more about the pilot program, visit nyc.gov/charge.
The DOT and Con Ed have been holding community meetings about the plan. According to various reports, affected residents think the program misses the mark.
Some suggest the city focus on public transit to help the environment. Others feel like it’s yet another hit on those who own cars, concerned about what the program could mean for their already limited parking options.
“There’s already a shortage of parking spots here so to do that will just increase that,” Williams said.
The city does not expect the chargers to generate enough money to break even at first. Its success relies solely on a lot more people buying electric cars in the coming years.
Still, the stations are scheduled to be installed next spring.