Here's a piece from this week's Riverdale Review.
By Brendan McHugh
For many Bronx residents, using the car after sunset means one thing: parking is going to be very difficult when they return home.
It’s possible that help is on the way, however. Last week, the City Council approved a Home Rule Resolution, requesting the New York State Legislature to pass a bill authorizing New York City to adopt a residential parking permit system.
A public hearing on the bill, held by the Council Committee on State and Federal Legislation on Wednesday, Nov. 2, generated enormous support for the plan, according to City Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, who supported the bill.
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Many present testified that the lack of parking for residents in certain areas is a serious problem and that in addition to causing great inconvenience, the lack of residential parking has resulted in traffic hazards, congestion and pollution.
“This issue to very relevant to our community, because many commuters from Westchester and elsewhere, drive in, park their cars in our neighborhood and take Metro North, the subway or the express bus to get to midtown, making it very difficult for local residents and local business owners to find a parking space,” Koppell said in a statement.
“I believe a residential parking permit would alleviate the problems created by this practice by discouraging non-residents from using our community as a free parking lot for hours each day.”
The problem has been apparent at the Riverdale train station, where commuters park along W. 254th Street and the adjacent streets. On top of that, teachers at the Salanter Akiba Riverdale (SAR) Academy park along the streets in front of residents’ driveways and fire hydrants. Police and traffic enforcement has curbed some of the illegal parking, but residential parking would clear up the narrow streets for the residents.
If the state enacts the proposed legislation to authorize the city to create residential permits, the City Council, together with the Department of Transportation and local community boards, would decide how to introduce the permits, neighborhood by neighborhood.
Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz said he has mixed feelings on the bill and will have to think “long and hard” about it before making a decision.
“I have mixed feelings about it,” he said. “The idea that people should have to pay to park in their own neighborhood really rubs me the wrong way and I’m not sure how I would vote on that if it came before us.”
It’s expected to be raised in the 2012 session, which begins in January.
“It’s not a huge amount of money, but it’s another one of those things that bothers people,” Dinowitz said, saying he believes the people on his block would not want to have to pay to park in their own neighborhood.
“Once they charge a fee, they can keep raising it,” he added. “It’s something you really have to give a lot of thought to.”
Dan Padernacht, who lives in Van Cortlandt Village, a notoriously difficult area for parking, said he has seen residential permit parking thrive.
When he earned his law degree in Chicago, he said the program worked out very well.
“In those areas (of Chicago) it seems to work very well,” said Padernacht, who also chairs the traffic and transportation committee of Community Board 8.
“I think it’s definitely something to look at in different areas of the community board.”
Most likely, community boards would have to approve when and where to implement residential parking or at the very least, give recommendations to the city.