Upper West Side
At Peak Times, a Hungrier Meter?
By ALEX MINDLIN
PARKING spaces on the Upper West Side are precious resources, to be hoarded like coal in wartime. The familiar street-cleaning shuffle requires paramilitary levels of vigilance and guile. So it is no surprise that the city is eyeing the neighborhood as a place to test a new program that would raise and lower the price of parking to match demand.
The system, known as performance-based pricing, was pioneered by Donald Shoup, a professor of urban planning at University of California, Los Angeles. Under the system, which is in use in Pasadena, Calif. and part of Washington, D.C., the price of parking fluctuates over the course of the day.
In peak periods, like the early evening, prices are kept high enough to dissuade some drivers from parking, with the goal of having two spots per block unoccupied at any time. Advocates of the system say it eases congestion and lowers emissions by sparing drivers the usual "cruise" in search of parking.
Over the last year, officials of the Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District have told the city they are willing to try out the new system, in return for street improvements like bike racks, benches, curb extensions and bike lanes. The city never formally agreed to such an arrangement, but Barbara Adler, executive director of the business district, said she learned a few weeks ago that performance-based pricing might be in the works for the avenue.
For Parking Space, the Price Is Right at $225,000
By VIVIAN S. TOY
In Houston, $225,000 will buy a three-bedroom house with a game room, den, in-ground pool and hot tub.
In Manhattan, it will buy a parking space. No windows, no view. No walls.
While real estate in much of the country languishes, property in Manhattan continues to escalate in price, and that includes parking spaces. Some buyers do not even own cars, but grab the spaces as investments, renting them out to cover their costs.
Spaces are in such demand that there are waiting lists of buyers. Eight people are hoping for the chance to buy one of five private parking spaces for $225,000 in the basement of 246 West 17th Street, a 34-unit condo development scheduled for completion next January. The developer, meanwhile, is seeking city approval to add four more spots.
Parking in new developments is selling for twice what it was five years ago, said Jonathan Miller, an appraiser and president of Miller Samuel.
Although spaces in prime sections of Manhattan are the most expensive, even those in open lots and in garages in Brooklyn, Queens, Riverdale and Harlem are close to $50,000, although at least one new Brooklyn development is asking $125,000.
Are You Ready to Pay to Park on Your Street?
By Danny Hakim
New York City could start charging residents to park in their own neighborhoods under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's congestion pricing plan. The mayor's proposal, which was introduced in the State Senate this month, would charge most drivers $8 to enter Manhattan below 86th Street on weekdays. To mollify people just outside the zone who feared their streets would turn into parking lots, the Senate bill would allow the city to issue permits so that most parking spots would be restricted to neighborhood residents.
But the bill says there would be unspecified fees that residents would have to pay to get those permits. The money would go to the city's general fund.
John Gallagher, a spokesman for the mayor, said "discussion of a fee structure for residential permit parking is very premature." Among other details of the plan, visitors coming into the city could deduct the cost of bridge and tunnel tolls from an $8 fee to enter Manhattan, but only if they use E-ZPass. And the state's environmental review process would be waived to speed up the plan.
We took a dive into the fine print of the mayor's proposal. As one might expect with such a voluminous piece of legislation, a number of notable items emerge from the fine print.
It's not spelled out how visitors driving into New York City would be made aware that they had to pay $8 within 48 hours or face a $115 fine. The mayor and his administration have said most people would likely have heard about the congestion fee, though some lawmakers say many might not. The mayor's staff says there would also be adequate signage. Lawmakers have wondered how this would actually work: The signs, presumably, would have to explain how and where to pay, requiring a lot more words than "toll ahead."
No Place to Park, but Plenty of Blame
By JENNIFER BLEYER
Published: May 27, 2007
Parking, that most coveted urban commodity, has turned a typically serene corner of the Bronx into a battleground.
It started after a bus depot opened in 2005 on Stillwell Avenue for the Logan Bus Company of Ozone Park, Queens. The company, which has a contract with the city's Department of Education to transport schoolchildren, operates more than 100 buses from the Bronx location.
Urban Studies | Parking
By BEN GIBBERD
AT 8:30 on a recent morning, a line of cars snaked into the J & L Parking lot on Pacific Street in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. There to greet them, as always, was the lot's manager, John Trombino, a substantial figure with a jet-black mane.
Like many lots, J & L accommodates "dailies" - commuters who arrive and depart at rush hour - and "monthlies," locals who generally use their cars only in the evenings or on weekends. The dailies occupy the inner two rows of the lot, firmly blocking in the two outer rows of monthlies.
In an ideal world these two tribes would coexist without intervention, but this being New York, emergencies arise: monthlies need to leave in the middle of the day; dailies stay later than planned. Further complicating matters, Mr. Trombino heads off for the day at 10 a.m. to help his father in another lot nearby. Fortunately, this is where the gift of his automotive choreography comes into play.
San Franciscans Hurl Their Rage at Parking Patrol
By JESSE McKINLEY
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 5 - It bears the hallmarks of a classic urban scourge: back-channel sales, assaults on enforcement officials and even death.
It is the price of parking in San Francisco.
Burdened with one of the densest downtowns in the country and a Californian love for moving vehicles, San Franciscans have been shocked in recent months by crimes related to finding places to park, including an attack in September in which a young man was killed trying to defend a spot he had found.
More recently, the victims have been parking control officers - do not call them meter maids - who suffered four attacks in late November, and two officers went to a hospital.
Over all, 2006 was a dangerous year for those hardy souls handing out tickets here, with 28 attacks, up from 17 in 2005.
NATIONAL PERSPECTIVES; No Parking: Condos Leave Out Cars
By LINDA BAKER
Published: November 12, 2006
ANNEMIEKE CLARK and her boyfriend, Daniel Pasley, do not spend a lot of time driving. Ms. Clark, a 29-year-old nursing student at Oregon Health and Science University, takes the bus to school. Her boyfriend is a ''crazy bike rider,'' she said.
So when they decided to buy their first home last winter, they chose a one-bedroom unit in the Civic, one of the first new developments in Portland to market condominiums without parking spaces.
Ms. Clark said they bought the $175,000 condo, which will be ready next summer, because ''it was absolutely the cheapest one selling.'' Mr. Pasley also hoped a unit without parking would inspire Ms. Clark to sell her 1992 Subaru.
''So, part of it was idealism -- that we would get rid of the car,'' Ms. Clark said.
Although condominiums without parking are common in Manhattan and the downtowns of a few other East Coast cities, they are the exception to the rule in most of the country. In fact, almost all local governments require developers to provide a minimum number of parking spaces for each unit -- and to fold the cost of the space into the housing price.
August 12, 2006
Same Problem, Different Stations
By VINCENT M. MALLOZZI
AT 8:30 on a recent morning in West Windsor, N.J., Ken Anderson was sitting behind the wheel of his car, waiting patiently for a train to pull into the Princeton Junction station from New York.
He was not picking anyone up. In what has become part of his daily hourlong commute into Manhattan, Mr. Anderson was staking out reverse commuters so he could grab a parking spot.
‘‘There’s usually one or two people who get off the train and into their cars, and when one of their spots opens up, I make my move,” said Mr. Anderson, 34, of Hightstown, N.J., who works as an accounts payable supervisor at Atari. “To have any chance for a parking spot, you have to get here before 6:30 in the morning or after 8. For me, parking every day is an adventure.”