July 10, 2008
City to Test Peak Rates for Parking Meters
By WILLIAM NEUMAN
Call it congestion parking.
In what amounts to congestion pricing for parking spaces, parking meter rates would double during heavy traffic periods in portions of Manhattan and Brooklyn as part of an experimental city program beginning this fall, officials said Wednesday.
The program's goal is to increase turnover in curbside parking spaces in the test areas - a section of Greenwich Village in Manhattan and a stretch of Kings Highway and adjacent streets in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn - so that drivers will spend less time cruising in search of an open space, according to the transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan.
Cutting down on cruising will in turn decrease pollution and traffic congestion. It is also expected to decrease the number of drivers who double-park or park in bus stops.
"We've picked corridors that have a lot of congestion and a lot of cruising," Ms. Sadik-Khan said. "Dealing with the cruising and congestion problem we think will improve both mobility in the neighborhood and reduce pollution, and improve the quality of life also in those areas."
If successful, the program could be expanded, she said. The pilot programs are expected to begin in October and will last six months.
In the Village, the higher parking rates would be charged in an area that stretches from Houston Street to Charles Street and includes portions of Seventh Avenue South and Avenue of the Americas. Currently, the area has parking meters that charge 25 cents for 15 minutes, or $1 an hour. Ms. Sadik-Khan said the meter rates would likely increase so that 25 cents would buy 6 to 7 1/2 minutes, which would be the equivalent of $2 to $2.50 an hour.