Residential Parking Permits Get Nod from Council Committee

An Albany bill that would allow the city to establish on-street parking permits for neighborhood residents has won the support of the City Council's transportation committee.

Brooklyn councilmember Letitia James, who represents neighborhoods around the Atlantic Yards development, said drivers from outside the city are taking up too many parking spaces, and the problem is going to get worse when the Barclay's arena opens next year.

"A residential parking permit program would discourage all-day parking by commuters who use neighborhoods, as is the case in downtown Brooklyn, basically as a parking lot," she said.

At a hearing before the vote on Wednesday, Brooklyn Heights resident Michael Serrapica said the problem has gotten worse in the 30 years he's lived in the area.

"This is a residential neighborhood," he said. "It's been completely overrun by people from outside who otherwise could pay to park in a commercial garage."

The committee went on to approve a home rule message in support of the legislation sponsored by state Senator Daniel Squadron and Assemblywoman Joan Millman.

Brooklyn councilmember Lew Fidler was the lone dissenter on the transportation committee. He said if one neighborhood puts in permits, adjacent communities will also be under pressure to adopt them.

"We're just gonna move the problem from one neighborhood to the next to the next until everybody in the city of New York is paying for the right to park on the street," he said.

The city's Department of Transportation has also come out against the legislation. Deputy Commissioner David Woloch told the council committee hearing it would cost the city too much to set up and enforce residential parking permits.

He said a permit system would exclude people neighborhoods need to accommodate "such as those using local businesses and services, residential visitors, in-home workers, residents parking rental cars or car-share vehicles, and deliveries."

Woloch said DOT is currently studying ways to reduce on-street parking pressure during stadium events, and will issue a report by February.