Roughly 97% of parking spaces in NYC are free. — Brooklynian

Roughly 97% of parking spaces in NYC are free.

That's miles of public space, given away for free, so that people can park their own personal cars FOR FREE.

It's a terrible use of public space. It gives way too much priority to car ownership. And it renders arguments about bike lanes and parking spaces completely moot.

The chart, put out by the city as part of its request for ideas on how to privatize its infrastructure, shows the total number of metered parking spaces increasing from 72,010 in 2006 to 81,875 in 2010. (That increase, most likely, isn’t due to adding meters to significant new stretches of the curb, but from single-space meters getting converted to muni-meters, which allow more cars to fit on a block.)

That’s an incredibly small number when taken in context. There are between 3.4 and 4.4 million on-street parking spaces in New York City, according to an extremely rough estimate by parking policy expert Rachel Weinberger, based on her field work in Park Slope and Jackson Heights.

http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/03/22/new-york-has-81875-metered-parking-spaces-and-millions-of-free-ones/

«13

Comments

  • From what I've noticed, the free ones are more often on residential streets, for residents and visitors to park as in other places. DC is an example otherwise, as many residential areas in the city require paid zone parking permits.

    The paid stuff here tends to be more on commercial streets where greater turnover benefits local merchants, in addition to tax base.

    One important note: Some neighborhoods have great shopping and restaurant options, a major hospital or health center, cultural attractions, etc.

    ...And some don't.

    Of the latter, many pretty much require use of a car to get to other neighborhoods since public transportation options either aren't available or aren't really practical.

    In the end residents, visitors and service vehicles do need places to park. The commercial/cultural areas do well to charge to ensure turnover of spots.

    I definitely support using less cars and support those choosing alternative means like bikes and especially public transportation.

    But I think it'd be a huge mistake to change more of the free spaces (certainly the ones on residential side blocks) to be metered ones.

  • Of course, if you are going to charge people to park their cars on city streets in residential neighborhoods, then the city and homeowners should all charge bicyclists for chaining their bikes to utility poles, garden fences, etc.

    That is valuable space, whether it be public or private, and bicyclists should no more be entitled to free usage of such space than are automobile owners.

    While we're talking about such matters, all dog owners should be charged every time their dogs take a dump or a whiz on public sidewalks, private gardens, etc.

    There should of course be a second charge for depositing plastic bags full of sh-t in homeowners' garbage cans. The cans end up smelling bad, and frequently become bug-infested.

    Finally, joggers should pay for the damage their pounding feet inflict on our sidewalks.

  • There should also be an air consumption tax for humans & other mammals as well as a carbon dioxide consumption tax on people with lawns and personal plants. There should also be a noise pollution tax for people who choose to speak or use some kind of noise generating device in public. Also a plastic bag tax for all people who don't use paper or canvas bags for shopping.

    (Never mind the fact that the truly insiduous auto users, those who can afford monthly parking, can afford but will not be subject to said tax hikes, while the avg Joe who has a car because he has no other way to get to work is getting hit again on his bottom line. And yes, while it would be awesome, Portlandic and utopian for all to bike across the Manhattan bridge, hand in hand singing cumbaya, nuking parking to make way for bike lanes makes no sense given the ratio of drivers in the city to bikers. The rage and effort are misguided)

    You want to hit drivers where it hurts... hike up the already high gas tax, and impose a tax on people with cars who don't need to drive to work. And end the anti driver rage.

  • @jeffrey: my main argument is that I think, perhaps, just maybe, there is disproportionate public space, based on need and luxury, devoted to free street parking for people to store their personal automobiles every day of their life, for 2-4 days at a time.

    booklaw said:

    Of course, if you are going to charge people to park their cars on city streets in residential neighborhoods, then the city and homeowners should all charge bicyclists for chaining their bikes to utility poles, garden fences, etc.

    That is valuable space, whether it be public or private, and bicyclists should no more be entitled to free usage of such space than are automobile owners.

    Oddly enough, there is a middle ground between how much free space is devoted to private cars now, and the number zero.

    I would gladly welcome proportional distribution of public space based on the cubic space of a bike per person vs that of a car. Ditto the amount of pollution and double parking created by people looking for or waiting for their city-provided free parking.

    While we're talking about such matters, all dog owners should be charged every time their dogs take a dump or a whiz on public sidewalks, private gardens, etc.

    The thing about sidewalks is that pretty much everyone uses them concurrently, they serve multiple purposes at once, and no one person or family can or would occupy a 10' x 6' piece of one for 48 hours at a time.

    Crazy, huh?

    There should of course be a second charge for depositing plastic bags full of sh-t in homeowners' garbage cans. The cans end up smelling bad, and frequently become bug-infested.

    Um, ok.

    Finally, joggers should pay for the damage their pounding feet inflict on our sidewalks.

    Proportionally? I am quite sure joggers pay more than their fair share via taxes. Surely, as a presumed car owner, you aren't suggesting that everyone starts paying their fare share of wear and tear on roads from their lifestyle?

  • The fact that you likened breathing and speaking to owning a car and getting a free place to park says a lot.

    Cool The Kid said:

    There should also be an air consumption tax for humans & other mammals as well as a carbon dioxide consumption tax on people with lawns and personal plants. There should also be a noise pollution tax for people who choose to speak or use some kind of noise generating device in public. Also a plastic bag tax for all people who don't use paper or canvas bags for shopping.

    (Never mind the fact that the truly insiduous auto users, those who can afford monthly parking, can afford but will not be subject to said tax hikes, while the avg Joe who has a car because he has no other way to get to work is getting hit again on his bottom line. And yes, while it would be awesome, Portlandic and utopian for all to bike across the Manhattan bridge, hand in hand singing cumbaya, nuking parking to make way for bike lanes makes no sense given the ratio of drivers in the city to bikers. The rage and effort are misguided)

    You want to hit drivers where it hurts... hike up the already high gas tax, and impose a tax on people with cars who don't need to drive to work. And end the anti driver rage.

  • Proportionally? I would like the city to return to use by all drivers the traffic lanes presently devoted to taxis and buses.

    I would also like to stop paying taxes which are ultimately wasted paying for maintenance, electricity/gasoline and salaries to keep subways and buses running. I have little use for either.

    The fact is that we all pay taxes and we do not all use everything that are taxes are spent on. We don't get to pick and choose what we will spend taxes on or for.

    Between the costs of license registration and renewal, the grossly excessive taxes on gasoline (compare the price of gas in NJ, where taxes are low, to those in NYC!), and the ridiculous bridge and tunnel tolls, car owners more than pay for the daily rental of the parking spaces their cars sometimes occupy.

  • You keep conflating misguided comparisons.

    A parking space doesn't use the same amount of space per person as a bike parking space.

    Sidewalks aren't equivalent to parking spaces.

    Parking spaces aren't equivalent in cost or efficiency to public transportation.

    I really don't know what your argument is. That indeed 97% of parking should be free and that there isn't disproportionate public space devoted to something that less than half of NYers can't even use, EVER, b/c they don't have a car?

    Between the costs of license registration and renewal, the grossly excessive taxes on gasoline (compare the price of gas in NJ, where taxes are low, to those in NYC!), and the ridiculous bridge and tunnel tolls, car owners more than pay for the daily rental of the parking spaces their cars sometimes occupy.

    I'm not arguing that drivers don't PAY their fair share for parking spaces (whether they pay their fair share of road use is another topic entirely). I'm arguing that too much space is devoted (FOR FREE) to something that too few people use.

  • And I again respond that too much space and money is devoted to subways and buses, which are used by many but far from all people.

    Your insistence upon focusing solely on parking spaces, rather than sidewalks, is totally arbitrary. It's all public space.

    Hey, I rarely use Prospect Park these days. Why don't we just pave it over and use it exclusively for free parking; then you can charge for neighborhood street parking (at least in adjoining neighborhoods). That would be very popular with the residents of Staten Island or the Bronx who occasionally drive to Brooklyn; the Park fits your description of "something that less than half of NYers can't even use, EVER..."

    What percentage of New Yorkers can afford to and in fact use Lincoln Center? Do you really think it's 50% or more? Let's tear it up and devote the public space to something that all New Yorkers can use... such as thrift shops and 99 cent stores.

    You are making an economic argument based primarily on your perception that street parking represents little value to you, and to others who don't own cars. You are ignoring the fact that other aspects of public space are similarly devoted to purposes that are more useful to some than to others.

  • I hear the formally public Atlantic Yards will feature a gigantic parking lot that will be fee for use. Score one for the drivers!

    I think Lincoln Center will implode on its own, as it fails to attract a younger audience to replace the patrons who are dying off. ....the newbies on the UWS may very well vote for a parking lot. Score two!

  • booklaw said:I would also like to stop paying taxes which are ultimately wasted paying for maintenance, electricity/gasoline and salaries to keep subways and buses running. I have little use for either.

    This has to be one of the most short-sighted things I've read on these here boards in a looooong time.

  • WF: I'm just making an argument... I understand the value public transportation represents to the city.

    The point is that we all have to be willing to support everyone's use of various aspects of the city for various purposes... whether we derive any direct benefit or not.

  • booklaw said:

    WF: I'm just making an argument... I understand the value public transportation represents to the city.

    I take it that you don't. Take away mass transit, and the city literally can't function. If people are relying on personal automobile transportation instead of mass transit, there's simply not enough room to deliver provisions to your hypothetical self that sits at home.

    booklaw said:The point is that we all have to be willing to support everyone's use of various aspects of the city for various purposes... whether we derive any direct benefit or not.

    Yeah, fine, but BG's point is that it needs to be proportionate. Personal automobile transportation is exceptionally low density and, in most cases, is a luxury, not a necessity, so it should have a cost befitting that status.

  • The same is true of Prospect Park, Lincoln Center, all neighborhood baseball diamonds, soccer fields, arts spaces, museums, etc.

  • booklaw said:

    The same is true of Prospect Park, Lincoln Center, all neighborhood baseball diamonds, soccer fields, arts spaces, museums, etc.

    The same what is true?

  • "Roughly 97% of Parking Spaces in NYC are Free."

    Yeah? So what! Is anyone charging you for using a bike lane? For using Prospect Park? For walking on the sidewalk? For tying your dogs up in front of stores? For picking up your garbage? For turning on the lamp lights? For picking up your mail? You're probably the same kind of person who is going to complain that you'll have to pay for the NY Times on line. That AT&T is cutting the amount of gigabytes you can have a month. Sorry I dismiss you and your brainless argument. . . And I don't have a problem with bike lanes.

  • ^^^ Do you think that we're NOT paying for all of the items you mentioned? If so, you are hideously misinformed.

  • As youbetcha points out, the owners of assets (such as bandwidth) are free to charge people more based on thief usage.

    This strongly supports Boygabriels argument that we charge car owners.

    Afterall, don't we all own the streets?

  • This is a long post. Thankfully, the people on this thread are not easily bored.

    I’ll make four general (and highly conflated) observations about municipal, state, federal services and how they are financed and then apply to the above conversation.

    First, services that governments provide are paid for either through general taxes (income, property) or user fees of a variety of natures. All city residents pay general taxes through the income tax and property taxes. These general revenues pay for services such as parks. They also pay for the maintenance of property owned by City DOT. (BTW, it is interesting though not per se relevant to my post to note that nationwide, 1/3 of all city land is paved for auto (cars, bicycle, trucks) use.)

    Second, services that charge user fees can be charging those fees either to pay for the service or to regulate a scarce resource or both. The DEP charges user fees in the form of water/sewer metering by which you pay more if you use more. The Port Authority charges user fees to both cover the cost of the bridges and also has a peak-hour fees to discourage discretionary trips during rush hours. (A bizarre fact is that prior to the peak-hour fees on the bridges, 10-15% of the peak-hour users were making trips that were not time sensitive. That percentage dropped when the peak hour fees were charged.)

    Third, some services are hybrids of direct and user fees. The subways and state parks are two such examples. Both have user fees, but the user fees do not pay for all of the cost. State parks charge a peak-season fee (they are generally free in winter) whereas the NYC subway does not. Other subway systems do - Washington DC.

    Fourth, most services have both direct and indirect benefits. Booklaw may never use the subways. But he is very glad that there are 5 million trips made a day by people do. If we all depended on the streets for all of our trips, the city would look pretty much like it did during the last transit strike. Similarly I, a non-auto owner, like the fact that trucks deliver food to my local store. That said, each service provides a different direct/indirect benefit ratio.

    Finally, the fee structure, not the type of fee determines whether it is regressive or not. Income taxes are mostly progressive in NYC. One of the Scandinavian countries (I’m not going to look up which one) experimented with fines (a type of user fee) based on income – hence speeding is more costly there the richer you are.

    The subject is parking spaces right?



    Parking space on city streets is a service provided by NYC. It is one for which there is more demand than supply in NYC making it a scarce resource. The scarcity varies a lot by neighborhood. Parking of trucks to load and unload has direct and indirect benefits to people. I’m not sure that parking of privately owned vehicles (cars or bikes) does, but I’m willing to hear the arguments. My guess is that even if there are indirect benefits of private vehicle parking, the majority of the benefit is directly to the person parking.

    Currently the service is allocated primarily to parking, with some places having dedicated loading zones. It is paid for by the general tax. The city’s general tax has a progressive income portion and a regressive real estate portion.

    Thus partially progressively, partially not we all pay for a benefit that is reaped (remember indirect and direct) by relatively fewer people and for which there is more demand than product.

    My solution



    I’d like all city streets to have loading/unloading zones. These could be used by USPS, garbage trucks, Fresh Direct or people dropping off junk in their apartments who will then park their cars. Creating such zones would largely eliminate the double-parked Fed Ex truck blocking traffic. I’m not sure that these need to have fees associated with them, though probably as a matter of enforcement they do.

    Most of the spaces would be devoted to parking. If we want bikes off the sidewalks, create dedicated bike parking on the street. But given that parking spaces in most NYC neighborhoods are scarce resources and that there is a very high percentage of the benefit reaped by the user (see above my comment on the low indirect benefit of private vehicle parking), I would toll these.

  • whynot_31 said:

    As youbetcha points out, the owners of assets (such as bandwidth) are free to charge people more based on thief usage.

    This strongly supports Boygabriels argument that we charge car owners.

    Afterall, don't we all own the streets?

    Nobody "owns" the streets but the city. You get a pothole on your block, the block doesn't come out w/some asphalt and patch it up, the city does.

    Plus yes we all have the right to the street. But pedestrians have sidewalks and crosswalks. Bikes have a growing # of bike lanes. Cars have the road. Even if we banned cars from parking, or made parking so expensive it effectively banned street parking (which could be a very low fee for many people in the city who need their cars to make a living), then what? Do we set up play grounds and parks on the shoulder of Bedford Avenue?

    Not to mention, NYC is a big place with wide variations in density and property types. In various parts of Manhattan/BK, for all intents and purposes you CAN'T park on the street, unless you have a commercial vehicle. But even if parking were banned there, that public space would still be unuseable, unless we banned traffic too.

    But if you go out to somewhere like Bayside or Staten Island or Rosedale, if you don't have a car you can't do anything. You can't work, you can't shop for food, you can't really move, unless BG thinks its reasonable for people to spend hours and hours commuting to do menial tasks. At the same time though, as a tenant you might not have access to a driveway. You already pay registration taxes, emissions taxes and growing fuel taxes, along with tolls when applicable. Now a parking tax on public space that has no other use BUT for cars? Maybe in La La Park Slope land where this blogger is from all parking could be turned in to flowery parks and astroturf cushioned bike lanes, but if you're like my friend Alvin, you're not gonna hop on your bike in the dead of winter to commute from Queens to the Bronx to work.

    Of course, it's all about thinking about how to levy more taxes, rather than look at why the cost of running NYC continues to spiral out of control. So yes let's also tax bike usage, and tax pedestrians for their usage of the crosswalks and traffic devices, and tax people out in public for noise pollution & carbon dioxide emissions, etc etc until anyone who even thinks to fart is levied a 100% income tax to be redistributed out "fairly" by the gov't. Give me a fucking break

  • whynot_31 said:

    I hear the formally public Atlantic Yards will feature a gigantic parking lot that will be fee for use. Score one for the drivers!

    I think Lincoln Center will implode on its own, as it fails to attract a younger audience to replace the patrons who are dying off. ....the newbies on the UWS may very well vote for a parking lot. Score two!

    As a driver, who loves his car very dearly, I hope frigging not!

  • Cool The Kid said:....Of course, it's all about thinking about how to levy more taxes, rather than look at why the cost of running NYC continues to spiral out of control. So yes let's also tax bike usage, and tax pedestrians for their usage of the crosswalks and traffic devices, and tax people out in public for noise pollution & carbon dioxide emissions, etc etc until anyone who even thinks to fart is levied a 100% income tax to be redistributed out "fairly" by the gov't. Give me a fucking break

    100% agree. It seems people are so hell-bent on taxing to cure all ills, they never look to what actually causes the ills. NYS much less NYC has a ton of revenue at its disposal. Most of it being corrupted away. Whether it's padding books, pocketing, nepotism, huge corporate tax-breaks and so on. This isn't to negate certain complaints of Society's ills, but how many times do we need to hear "tax" as a cure to a complaint or legitimate problem? It's not needed. But like George Bush 43 said, and I never thought I'd paraphrase him much less use him as an example, "if you think the government needs to tax more, by all means write a check out to the IRS".

  • I'm certain that I didn't say NYC would make good use of the money it would raise from implementing fees for on street parking. In fact, I agree with CTK and idlewild ....a lot of the money might go to waste in the city's hands.

    Although taxing something is very effective at increasing it's price, and thus discouraging it's use, I guess I could adapt a position that was tax free, such as a scheme in which parking would be even harder to find:

    Parking regulations could be made more restrictive.

    We could permanently eliminate spots by creating lots of loading zones like Mrs Whynot suggests.

    We do away with tolerating double parking when alternate side regulations were in effect, thus torturing car owners more?!

    We could make some more streets into pedestrian malls, that only buses could travel on, like the Fulton St Mall. ....there is no on street parking there.

    ...even without such changes, I expect $5 a gallon gas in our near future. This might cause even fewer people to drive, and could make the parking situation worse because it is too expensive to actually drive their car. (They may keep their alternate siding their cars in the on street "free" spot for several years before admitting to themselves that they can't afford to drive it anymore.

    A likely outcome would be that parking garages would always be full and/or increase their fees. Entrepreneurs could convert some of the stalled condo developments into garages.

  • Ha ha ha - some of the complaining here reminds me of going out for dinner with a group of... well, let's say friends and/or acquaintances. It's always easy to spot the person that ordered the most drinks, that ate the most expensive entrée and couldn't resist dessert. How? When the tab comes, they'll be the one to suggest, "let's just split it evenly - that's fair, right?"

  • Whyfi,

    I totally understand your analogy and agree with it, but I think I have a better one.

    Let's imagine that we are good capitalists, and we each own a share in an asset. Now, being good capitalists, we want to maximize the value our our asset. However, we have some shareholders that insist that the corporation give it away FOR FREE!

    What kind of a good capitalist owns stock in a corporation, but does not want to maximize its value!?

    Now, don't get me wrong, I'm as charitable as other people. But this isn't a situation in which charity is called for. ...they want to continue t give it away free to people who can afford to pay for it, and don't actually "need" it; the recipients merely want it.

    As a result, this isn't a disturbing case of some evil cabal that owns the water supply for some African village and won't give away for "free" to some thirsty, but impoverished 4 year old.

    ...this is a case in which a small minority of people in NYC own a car, and the majority believes the space the car is occupying could be put to better use, or that we could successfully get some revenue for the use of it.

    Assuming one is not disabled, or in Bayside or the other far flung neighborhoods mentioned; this is more like cable TV. No one actually needs it.

    When looked at this way, (and taken to the extreme) does the payer of the cable fee have the right to tell owners of the cable company how they should spend the profits?

    So what if the money gets spend in ways they do not like ....they could always not have cable (I mean a car....)

    We would not attempt to charge drivers if:

    a. they lived in a far flung neighborhoods wherein cars to not present such large externalities, and let them continue to park for free.

    b. They could show they actually needed a car, and that need could not be met by simply expanding Access A Ride.



    I think everyone has the following shared goals:

    1. We get some more public space and maybe some revenue.

    2. Any such plan to charge a fee for parking that is presently free allows those who truly need their car get to keep it.

    ....surely we can find some middle ground here; I'm really quite reasonable.

  • WhyFi said:

    Ha ha ha - some of the complaining here reminds me of going out for dinner with a group of... well, let's say friends and/or acquaintances. It's always easy to spot the person that ordered the most drinks, that ate the most expensive entrée and couldn't resist dessert. How? When the tab comes, they'll be the one to suggest, "let's just split it evenly - that's fair, right?"

    I plead guilty to everything but the dessert and splitting the check evenly. I'd rather treat or just pay for what I had plus tax and tip. And I won't share Chinese either!

  • Hyperbole and all aside, seriously we have to look at what the effects of sweeping borough-wide parking regs.

    - NYC can't operate in a budget so raising or levying more taxes isn't the answer.

    - Resources have to be allocated fairly and proportionately to the part of the population they serve and the taxes they will either consume or generate

    - The whole "public space" angle is dubious, it's not like if there were no parking there would be playgrounds and such on the shoulders of every street.

    - Area wise, most of NYC is pretty suburban and requires some street parking.

    I am a NYer through and through. I have been here for 26 years, literally lived on opposite ends of Queens and have either lived or worked in every borough (including SI!). In Park Slope or wherever this blog dude is from maybe any car that's not a Subaru Outback is some gross misuse off carbon and potential bike routing & park space. But the reality is, most NYCers NEED cars, do not have a private place to park them, and would not be solving any of the city's problems by further enabling an already out of control city & state gov't. City taxes are already amongst the highest in the nation, even if you DON'T own property or use a car. When will we start demanding some accountability????

  • Actually, if it came down to it and money was actually needed for maintaining the roads, I'd levy a per-pound tax. The more your car weighs, the more dime you pay for registration. And you can hit the out-of-staters at all the NYC tunnels, bridges and tolls at the NYS borders. Bikes included. One thing that has always annoyed me is when a fucking big ass Escalade takes up twice the length of a parking space as opposed to a Monnte Carlo.

  • CTK wrote: - The whole "public space" angle is dubious, it's not like if there were no parking there would be playgrounds and such on the shoulders of every street.

    No one is stating we eliminate on street parking.

    ...but getting rid of enough to establish loading zones in the highly congested areas seems like it would make traffic flow easier by eliminating double parking.

    Clearly, some on street parking spots are not worth as much as others ....unlike Boygabriel, I would not lament about the totality of the parking given away for free.

    ...Instead, I would focus only the most valuable land, and how it could be put to better use.

    Idlewild: As an aside, is the dual exhaust Monte Carlo still the unofficial car of NYC? It brings back memories of the old Bensonhurst: Saturday Night Fever!

  • Dude, you can't start off a post with "Hyperbole and all aside," and then plop down some straight BS like, "most NYCers NEED cars." I'd be willing to bet, dollars to donuts, that more than 50% (ie "most") of the NYC population lives and works within a few blocks of public transportation.

  • Idlewild said:

    Actually, if it came down to it and money was actually needed for maintaining the roads, I'd levy a per-pound tax. The more your car weighs, the more dime you pay for registration. And you can hit the out-of-staters at all the NYC tunnels, bridges and tolls at the NYS borders. Bikes included. One thing that has always annoyed me is when a fucking big ass Escalade takes up twice the length of a parking space as opposed to a Monnte Carlo.

    This certainly wouldn't receive an objection from me... it's just too bad that so many of the vehicles in the city happen to be just visiting from Georgia, Pennsylvania, etc, etc... :roll:

  • WhyFi said:

    Dude, you can't start off a post with "Hyperbole and all aside," and then plop down some straight BS like, "most NYCers NEED cars." I'd be willing to bet, dollars to donuts, that more than 50% (ie "most") of the NYC population lives and works within a few blocks of public transportation.

    I'll look up the stats tomorrow on the percentage of people that live within a five minute and ten minute walk of the subway. But it is way more than 1/2. I don't know what the 2010 census will say, but the 2000 census said less than 1/2 of all NYC households owned a car.

    And as a lifelong New Yorker, I personally have managed 40 years without one. My parents managed to raise me without one. My grandparents raised my parents without one. And by the time we get to my great grandparents (Vienna, Kippelya, London)...

  • Cool The Kid said:

    Hyperbole and all aside, seriously we have to look at what the effects of sweeping borough-wide parking regs.

    - NYC can't operate in a budget so raising or levying more taxes isn't the answer.

    - Resources have to be allocated fairly and proportionately to the part of the population they serve and the taxes they will either consume or generate

    Completely agree. Hence my firm belief that too much public space is devoted to private individual automobile parking.

    - The whole "public space" angle is dubious, it's not like if there were no parking there would be playgrounds and such on the shoulders of every street.

    This is a useless obfuscation in an attempt to make some kind of objective point. if you'd like to discuss the value of public space, let's do it. But otherwise, spare me this nonsense.

    Bike lanes make EVERYONE safer. Wider sidewalks make everyone happier. Loading zones reduce congestion and pollution. If you think there's a shortage of useful things to do with narrower streets, I beg you to work on your imagination just a bit.

    But the reality is, most NYCers NEED cars,

    This is demonstrably false. 54% of New Yorkers don't even own a car. Only 30% use one to commute.

    do not have a private place to park them, and would not be solving any of the city's problems by further enabling an already out of control city & state gov't. City taxes are already amongst the highest in the nation, even if you DON'T own property or use a car. When will we start demanding some accountability????

    Given car ownership %, commuting usage, pollution, congestion, noise, and other negatives of car ownership (among established positives of course) I think less public space should be devoted to private individual automobile parking.

    I have no thoughts on your comments about taxes or personal accountability and I'm impressed you even managed to tie it into this post.

  • Mrs Whynot - thank you for this post. It was thoughtful and actually contained facts and statistics. (gasp!)

    My biggest hope is that people who think the current level of pubic space devoted to automobile parking is in any way proportional to need and usefulness read your post. Especially the parts that focus on public parking spaces and solutions.

    mrs whynot said:

    This is a long post. Thankfully, the people on this thread are not easily bored.

    I’ll make four general (and highly conflated) observations about municipal, state, federal services and how they are financed and then apply to the above conversation.

    First, services that governments provide are paid for either through general taxes (income, property) or user fees of a variety of natures. All city residents pay general taxes through the income tax and property taxes. These general revenues pay for services such as parks. They also pay for the maintenance of property owned by City DOT. (BTW, it is interesting though not per se relevant to my post to note that nationwide, 1/3 of all city land is paved for auto (cars, bicycle, trucks) use.)

    Second, services that charge user fees can be charging those fees either to pay for the service or to regulate a scarce resource or both. The DEP charges user fees in the form of water/sewer metering by which you pay more if you use more. The Port Authority charges user fees to both cover the cost of the bridges and also has a peak-hour fees to discourage discretionary trips during rush hours. (A bizarre fact is that prior to the peak-hour fees on the bridges, 10-15% of the peak-hour users were making trips that were not time sensitive. That percentage dropped when the peak hour fees were charged.)

    Third, some services are hybrids of direct and user fees. The subways and state parks are two such examples. Both have user fees, but the user fees do not pay for all of the cost. State parks charge a peak-season fee (they are generally free in winter) whereas the NYC subway does not. Other subway systems do - Washington DC.

    Fourth, most services have both direct and indirect benefits. Booklaw may never use the subways. But he is very glad that there are 5 million trips made a day by people do. If we all depended on the streets for all of our trips, the city would look pretty much like it did during the last transit strike. Similarly I, a non-auto owner, like the fact that trucks deliver food to my local store. That said, each service provides a different direct/indirect benefit ratio.

    Finally, the fee structure, not the type of fee determines whether it is regressive or not. Income taxes are mostly progressive in NYC. One of the Scandinavian countries (I’m not going to look up which one) experimented with fines (a type of user fee) based on income – hence speeding is more costly there the richer you are.

    The subject is parking spaces right?



    Parking space on city streets is a service provided by NYC. It is one for which there is more demand than supply in NYC making it a scarce resource. The scarcity varies a lot by neighborhood. Parking of trucks to load and unload has direct and indirect benefits to people. I’m not sure that parking of privately owned vehicles (cars or bikes) does, but I’m willing to hear the arguments. My guess is that even if there are indirect benefits of private vehicle parking, the majority of the benefit is directly to the person parking.

    Currently the service is allocated primarily to parking, with some places having dedicated loading zones. It is paid for by the general tax. The city’s general tax has a progressive income portion and a regressive real estate portion.

    Thus partially progressively, partially not we all pay for a benefit that is reaped (remember indirect and direct) by relatively fewer people and for which there is more demand than product.

    My solution



    I’d like all city streets to have loading/unloading zones. These could be used by USPS, garbage trucks, Fresh Direct or people dropping off junk in their apartments who will then park their cars. Creating such zones would largely eliminate the double-parked Fed Ex truck blocking traffic. I’m not sure that these need to have fees associated with them, though probably as a matter of enforcement they do.

    Most of the spaces would be devoted to parking. If we want bikes off the sidewalks, create dedicated bike parking on the street. But given that parking spaces in most NYC neighborhoods are scarce resources and that there is a very high percentage of the benefit reaped by the user (see above my comment on the low indirect benefit of private vehicle parking), I would toll these.

  • Boygabriel said:

    My biggest hope is that people who think the current level of pubic space devoted to automobile parking is in any way proportional to need and usefulness read your post. Especially the parts that focus on public parking spaces and solutions.

    Just to clarify, the public space devoted to automobile parking...

    That refers to parking on the street next to the curb, right?

  • This argument that biking is somehow a legitimate means of commuting is false. Given the amount of energy and resources that have been dedicated to building and maintaining the bike lanes against the recent inclement weather is way out of proportion. In the interest of full disclosure, I own 2 bikes and 3 cars and use all equally. There have been times this winter that I've rode my bike for the sake of the challenge and to be sure I've seen very few bikes out. For months only a handful. At least I've been rewarded for crossing the MB with a free piece of chocolate. Thank you girls. How can we logically depend on militant bikers who insist on more lanes when they are not consistently using them. Seriously can the MTA eliminate running an extra train or two on a daily basis because we can count on these people taking to their bikes daily? There's another thread somewhere that gave statistics that said peak bicycle commuting occurred around 12 noon. Not exactly evidence that people are actually going to a job.

    Regarding maintenance by the way. There is zero.

  • modsquad2.0 said:

    This argument that biking is somehow a legitimate means of commuting is false.

    Thank you for informing me that I've been using an illegitimate form of commuting. I'll hang my head in appropriate shame.

    modsquad2.0 said:Seriously can the MTA eliminate running an extra train or two on a daily basis because we can count on these people taking to their bikes daily?

    Uh, has this ever been a goal? Have cyclists on the Manhattan Bridge been shaking their fists at the passing trains, shouting, "damn you and your efficient mass transit!"? I don't recall ever seeing that...

    More to the point, I think that it's just a wee bit disingenuous to say that commute via cycling can't be done - merely pointing at the existing, successful cycling communities around the world is enough to disprove that assertion.

  • jeffrey said:

    Just to clarify, the public space devoted to automobile parking...

    That refers to parking on the street next to the curb, right?

    Yeah. What other kind of public parking (not private lots) is there? (that wasn't asked in a snarky tone - an honest question)

    I would very happy with vertical parking lots being built, especially for commuters @ stations or in high density neighborhoods that aren't well served by public transportation, esp. trains.

  • Thank you for informing me that I've been using an illegitimate form of commuting. I'll hang my head in appropriate shame.

    More to the point how can you justify spending mucho resources on a dilettantes cause? What would be the point of dedicating all this space and money if there were no PC benefits. Because you ride a bike is there a long term benefit to the environment based on the resources dedicated to making that bike lane for your use? Not to mention the maintenance,(the lines seem to disappear with in year) I watched with saddened amusement as the DOT tried to plow bike lanes with little success, especially those lanes with fiberglass pots full of untended and dead plants.

  • modsquad2.0 said:

    This argument that biking is somehow a legitimate means of commuting is false. Given the amount of energy and resources that have been dedicated to building and maintaining the bike lanes against the recent inclement weather is way out of proportion. In the interest of full disclosure, I own 2 bikes and 3 cars and use all equally. There have been times this winter that I've rode my bike for the sake of the challenge and to be sure I've seen very few bikes out. For months only a handful. At least I've been rewarded for crossing the MB with a free piece of chocolate. Thank you girls. How can we logically depend on militant bikers who insist on more lanes when they are not consistently using them. Seriously can the MTA eliminate running an extra train or two on a daily basis because we can count on these people taking to their bikes daily? There's another thread somewhere that gave statistics that said peak bicycle commuting occurred around 12 noon. Not exactly evidence that people are actually going to a job.

    Regarding maintenance by the way. There is zero.

    I've read this twice and I can barely make sense of it, let alone find a single verifiable claim.

    Here are my three favorite parts, in reverse order:

    3. The idea that it's only angry bikers asking for bike lanes.

    2. modsquad's very scientific method of collecting data strictly through his own anecdotal experiences

    1. The idea that significant energy or resources are devoted to creating bike lanes

    BONUS 1: that the point of bike lanes is to reduce the number of people who ride trains.

    BONUS 2: that there shouldn't be a comprehensive bike lane network b/c it gets cold in the winter and rains sometimes.

    Thank you mod, that post was truly awesome.

  • I would very happy with vertical parking lots being built, especially for commuters @ stations or in high density neighborhoods that aren't well served by public transportation, esp. trains.

    Of course you would be happy, but what about the people who would be living next to these towers of cars. Exactly where is this space coming from if you eliminate on street parking. Maybe emanate domain can eliminate a brownstone of your choosing near all train stations.

  • I think something that needs to be brought up is the amount of capital that the City generates through parking tickets. I remember reading in the Times back in the dead of winter (which, given this morning's weather, we're sadly not out of yet) that there was concern about the serious loss of revenue to the City's coffers when alternate side of the street parking regulations were suspended for nearly all of January.

    In other words, taking away a percentage of "free" street parking throughout the five boroughs is not something anyone in local government would likely ever agree to. Particularly when the proposed replacement being discussed here are more bike lanes, which is not only an expense but also, in the short and even medium terms, garners no income. I'm certainly not saying that there aren't indirect and long-term benefits to more bike lanes, but, despite any talk from the mayor's office, I've never really believed that the city operates on anything other than short and medium-term goals.

    Thought that, like everything else said on this site, is debatable.

  • 1. The idea that significant energy or resources are devoted to creating bike lanes

    BONUS 1: that the point of bike lanes is to reduce the number of people who ride trains.

    BONUS 2: that there shouldn't be a comprehensive bike lane network b/c it gets cold in the winter and rains sometimes.

    Enlighten me then. What is the point of spending limited resources on bike lanes causing much congestion?

  • modsquad2.0 said:

    Of course you would be happy, but what about the people who would be living next to these towers of cars. Exactly where is this space coming from if you eliminate on street parking. Maybe emanate domain can eliminate a brownstone of your choosing near all train stations.

    I'm not arguing we should get rid of on-street parking. I'm arguing we should reduce it somewhat, based on geography and public transit options. Very important distinction that you and others here refuse to recognize.

    As for where to built the lots. I bet if the city tried really hard it could come up with solutions. Yes, eminent domain which is a sometimes necessary evil. Or building the lots in more commercial/light industrial parts of neighborhoods. We're smart people. I bet this wouldn't be a city development project that would stymie us.

    modsquad2.0 said:

    1. The idea that significant energy or resources are devoted to creating bike lanes

    BONUS 1: that the point of bike lanes is to reduce the number of people who ride trains.

    BONUS 2: that there shouldn't be a comprehensive bike lane network b/c it gets cold in the winter and rains sometimes.

    Enlighten me then. What is the point of spending limited resources on bike lanes causing much congestion?

    Here's the resources and "energy" required for bike lanes:

    - painting traffic lines.

    - occasionally putting up a jersey barrier or stop light.

    - minimal wear and tear. (10-15 bikers weigh as much as one regular 4 door non-SUV with one person in it)

  • ntfool said:

    I think something that needs to be brought up is the amount of capital that the City generates through parking tickets. I remember reading in the Times back in the dead of winter (which, given this morning's weather, we're sadly not out of yet) that there was concern about the serious loss of revenue to the City's coffers when alternate side of the street parking regulations were suspended for nearly all of January.

    In other words, taking away a percentage of "free" street parking throughout the five boroughs is not something anyone in local government would likely ever agree to. Particularly when the proposed replacement being discussed here are more bike lanes, which is not only an expense but also, in the short and even medium terms, garners no income. I'm certainly not saying that there aren't indirect and long-term benefits to more bike lanes, but, despite any talk from the mayor's office, I've never really believed that the city operates on anything other than short and medium-term goals.

    Thought that, like everything else said on this site, is debatable.

    This is a good point to bring up. Definitely an issue for concern. I'd imagine there are ways of off-setting lost revenue on alternate-side parking tickets, such as charging more for on-street parking.

    Also I'm not suggesting that every parking spot be replaced with a bike lane. This city has a lot of needs, of which bikers are just one.

    Also you're measuring cost strictly in terms of dollars and tickets. There are many other costs that cities calculate. Such as congestion and pollution. I read stuff that referenced such studies, I can try to find them.

  • Here's the resources and "energy" required for bike lanes:

    - painting traffic lines.

    - occasionally putting up a jersey barrier or stop light.

    - minimal wear and tear. (10-15 bikers weigh as much as one regular 4 door non-SUV with one person in it)

    Like you asked me, link your source.

    What about maintaining and repainting every year. What about a whole fleet of pint size street cleaning and plowing trucks. Not that they actually clean the lanes. Try going East on Grand Street through China town. What about all the flower pots?

    What about the pollution caused by a traffic backup when a single cab stops to pickup or discharge passengers on the single traffic lane on Broadway.

  • Boygabriel said:

    - minimal wear and tear. (10-15 bikers weigh as much as one regular 4 door non-SUV with one person in it)

    And let's face it - even the equivalent weight in cyclists does not have the same destructive force on the roadway. To wit, I recall homeowner that have petitioned to remove speedbumps in front of their homes citing the foundation damages that resulted from automobiles running over the bumps.

  • modsquad2.0 said:

    Like you asked me, link your source.

    link the source about what? All that bike lanes use is paint, and some jersey barriers, lights and mini snow plows. I'm pretty sure you're completely aware of this fact, you're just obfuscating.

    What about maintaining and repainting every year. What about a whole fleet of pint size street cleaning and plowing trucks. Not that they actually clean the lanes. Try going East on Grand Street through China town. What about all the flower pots?

    The Grand Street bike lane is problematic for a lot of reasons. But to judge the entire 500 mile system on that one lane is a joke.

    What about the pollution caused by a traffic backup when a single cab stops to pickup or discharge passengers on the single traffic lane on Broadway.

    in aggregate, a well designed system of bike lanes reduces pollution.

    I can point you to multiple cities around the world that prove this. Just ask.

  • Boygabriel said:

    Completely agree. Hence my firm belief that too much public space is devoted to private individual automobile parking.

    You speak of parking spaces as though they have displaced space that could have been public parks. The space on the side of the road isn't usable for much of anything that isn't traffic related.


    This is a useless obfuscation in an attempt to make some kind of objective point. if you'd like to discuss the value of public space, let's do it. But otherwise, spare me this nonsense.

    I'm definitely curious to hear the missed value of curbside space, particularly in low density areas. There are SOME areas that could be improved, but again, out where there are single family homes w/driveways, backyards and very few people on the sidewalks (aka about 1/2 of NYC by area) where's the benefit in more sidewalk?

    Bike lanes make EVERYONE safer.

    Where they are fully utilized.



    Wider sidewalks make everyone happier.
    Proof of this? How would a wider sidewalk make someone who commutes by car happier? Who is commuting by sidewalk?


    Loading zones reduce congestion and pollution.
    Wholly agreed and probably the one place where the city needs to really make significant headway. But outside of completely barring street parking on busy streets (which the city already does in many cases), I don't see what other options there are, and I def don't see what a "parking tax" would do to aid that end.

    If you think there's a shortage of useful things to do with narrower streets, I beg you to work on your imagination just a bit.

    I'm not saying there's a shortage of things to do. I'm just asking what value these things would bring to the city, especially in areas where there's no war between pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. Like I keep saying there is more to NYC than Manhattan and North Brooklyn, which is why I find the whole thing so dubious. We need more info before we start razing streets, especially wholesale.

    This is demonstrably false. 54% of New Yorkers don't even own a car. Only 30% use one to commute.

    And less than 1% of NYers commute by bike, most of whom def don't do so year round, yet you have no qualms dedicating limitless public space to their needs. So what's fair about that?

    Plus those who don't commute by car might still need them. I.e. people who are retired in the city and need their cars to get around, or people who work in the city but use their cars to get to commuter lots, drop their kids off at school and take care of things they wouldn't be able to without a car. You go to the edge of any borough and pretty much all the neighborhoods are like this. Plus w/the recent MTA cuts, what little bus services that were available became even less of an option, especially out in the far reaches of the city.

    Given car ownership %, commuting usage, pollution, congestion, noise, and other negatives of car ownership (among established positives of course) I think less public space should be devoted to private individual automobile parking.
    That's fine, you are entitled to that opinion. But many of the people in NYC who commute by car have no other choice, so until viable alternatives are made for them I don't think it's fair to demonize or penalize them because you're anti-car.



    I have no thoughts on your comments about taxes or personal accountability and I'm impressed you even managed to tie it into this post.

    I think they are important points to bring up because you are so gung ho for more taxes, but you absolutely refuse to acknowledge the fact that the city and state have been unable to manage their books for decades. So I'm at a loss as to what your end goal of your anti-parking rage is. Do you want to do away with all street parking to make for more public space? Then you need to either make other free parking arrangements or cheap public travel arrangements for people with strange commutes like my friend who lives in Queens + works in a subway-less section of the BX. Believe me, if people could do without cars in NYC they would, there is nothing fun about commuting by car in NYC.

    Do you want to levy another tax that will hit many people who simply can't afford it that would do little to nothing to solve the state/city's fundamental issue of spending more than they get (no matter how much they get)? What problems will that solve? As I said NYC is already one of the highest taxed cities in the nation, and we are still bankrupt due to a lot of waste and overreach. So what will more taxes do?

    I don't know your background, but I've been in NYC for 26 years, I've lived or worked in all 5 boroughs, I've commuted by car, train and bike, and FWIW I'm an engineer. I don't own a car nor do I have plans to own one and I currently commute by train/bike, and even still, I think an initiative to further penalize drivers in NYC... ALL of NYC, not just Midtown and organic food co-op land by the 7th Ave B/Q stop... is short-sighted, unfair, and a solution to a "problem" that is highly subjective in nature. If certain blocks could be rearranged to better serve the people of NYC, be it through reducing available street parking, additional bike lanes, w/e, let's do it... but let's not demonize or prioritize one group over another unfairly & broadly w/o objectively looking at the impact of the changes on the city to EVERYONE (yes- even drivers!).

  • For starters, CTK, stop referring to my "rage".

    I've been calm throughout this and most other transportation discussions.

    After that, accept that this isn't a "war". It's a challenge for us to think more critically about use of public space.

    When bikers write letters, or stage peaceful protests, or support advocacy groups, or come on message boards to talk about things, there is nothing war-like about it.

    Accept that in discussion of public space and policies going forward, few people are attacking cars, or demonizing them.

    I'm sure a few are. But your sweeping generalizations are extremely unhelpful.

    If you can accept these terms I'm happy to continue the discussion.

  • Boygabriel said:

    in aggregate, a well designed system of bike lanes reduces pollution.

    I can point you to multiple cities around the world that prove this. Just ask.

    Indulge us.

    How are they reducing pollution? It's not like the people who commute by car will sell them to commute by bike. The only way I can see this literally being true is from the fact that bike lanes physically lower the number of motor vehicles that can fit onto a roadway, which I suppose in a way does reduce pollution, but introduces a whole host of other problems.

    This obsession w/bike lanes is counterproductive. If there's hope anywhere it's not in roadspace dedicated to a tiny part of the population that will only utilize said space when weather is perfect. It's in those Select Bus Service lanes. I would kill to be able to take a quick bus ride down to my job (even if it took more time than the train or bike), and of course anyone, even the handicapped and elderly, could use said service year round. The idea that NYC is some cycling utopia waiting to be released from the shackles of cars & bureaucracy is a destructive pipe dream... we def need to make some accommodations for cyclists, but not to the extent that we have, IMO.

  • (Re: confirming that it's street parking we're discussing here)

    Okay, just checking.

    It's worth noting that the statistics are very misleading.

    Sure, the stats say that an overwhelming majority of persons live within reasonable walking distance to public transportation. Some kind, anyway.

    Not necessarily "Going Their Way" (MTA ad slogan joke), but something that qualifies as public transportation, no matter how indirect and lousy, going in at least some direction.

    These are not issues for the huge concentration of people in the small, densely-packed areas of Manhattan and Manhattan-edge borough downtown high-volume transit hubs where access to many options for transportation, shopping, restaurants, services, hospitals etc. are immediately all around them. This would also include folks just off the main tributary arteries extending outward a bit.

    Walking, subways, bikes -- even to Manhattan for those not dressed beyond casual for work -- are easy, quick and viable options for travel in pretty much any direction. All manner of amenities within easy reach. To many folks in these areas, the above appear to be the obvious norms and cars ridiculous, perhaps even obnoxious.

    But what of the rest of the city?

    Getting around (wider distances for amenities and work in different directions) ain't so easy when you're way down a branch, not near the root of things.

  • I think people are getting way off topic.

    I'd like to talk about charging for on street parking in dense areas, and reducing the amount of space that is allocated to it in those areas.

    The rest of the city I would not bother.

    ...I also find it interesting that people are focused on the miniscule number of people who are commuting via bike. As someone who could not imagine commuting by bike, I find these stats less than surprising, and not very interesting.

    When I think about it, I don't care what purpose (bike lanes, loading zones, benches, trash areas, etc) they allocate the parking spaces that are taken from cars.

    All of these uses would be uses that served more people than the owner of a private vehicle. As a citizen, I am merely concerned that the most people get the benefits from our limited resources.

  • Cool The Kid said:I don't know your background, but I've been in NYC for 26 years

    I take it that this is the entirety of your life. Frankly, I think that your familiarity leads you to take for granted how good the public transportation is in NYC. I think that your notion of "needing" to commute by car would undergo a significant change if you were to attempt car-free living just about anywhere else in the country.

    Oh, and stop trying to make it seem as if anyone is pushing for unilateral banishment of free car parking within the 5 boroughs - it's simplistic and below you.

  • Boygabriel said:

    For starters, CTK, stop referring to my "rage".

    I've been calm throughout this and most other transportation discussions.

    After that, accept that this isn't a "war". It's a challenge for us to think more critically about use of public space.

    When bikers write letters, or stage peaceful protests, or support advocacy groups, or come on message boards to talk about things, there is nothing war-like about it.

    Accept that in discussion of public space and policies going forward, few people are attacking cars, or demonizing them.

    I'm sure a few are. But your sweeping generalizations are extremely unhelpful.

    If you can accept these terms I'm happy to continue the discussion.

    Alright I will play nice.

    Off the bat just a few questions.

    1, what do you think is the most appropriate use of said public space, and why do you feel that use is best for the city?

    2, what is fair or beneficial about a parking tax for people with no choice but to own & park a car within NYC?

    3, I know bikers, and while I know you hate generalizing, I know that many, dare I say most, disregard traffic laws & to a degree abuse the fact that many of them are not held accountable. I am on a bike message board, and the amount of crying about the crackdown is out of control.

    4, most importantly, and the backbone of my whole point here, roads were created to facilitate travel. If you have 3 sections of the population using 3 different transportation means (private cars/cabs, public buses, bicycles) on said roads, in order to decide how to design said roads you have to divy up the roads to fit the end uses fairly.

    In congested areas like Manhattan & North Brooklyn, IMO buses should take precedent- but only if the MTA can provide adequate bus service. As you said, 30% of NYers commute by car, but that is aggregate. In some neighborhoods, it might be 10%. In some neighborhoods, I know for a fact it's at least 90%. So road design should accommodate specific needs, which also includes the use of public space for parking. And finally the cyclists... even in BK/Manhattan the cycling population is at most 5%, and of that 5% maybe only 10-20% commute year round. So like I said, to me it just seems to make no sense to dedicate entire lanes of traffic for such an underutilizing segment. To me it would make more sense to make changes to minimize car congestion & get more people on buses and trains than it would to try to turn NYC into a bike city. It just won't happen.

  • Cool The Kid said: 4, most importantly, and the backbone of my whole point here, roads were created to facilitate travel. If you have 3 sections of the population using 3 different transportation means (private cars/cabs, public buses, bicycles) on said roads, in order to decide how to design said roads you have to divy up the roads to fit the end uses fairly.

    In congested areas like Manhattan & North Brooklyn, IMO buses should take precedent- but only if the MTA can provide adequate bus service. As you said, 30% of NYers commute by car, but that is aggregate. In some neighborhoods, it might be 10%. In some neighborhoods, I know for a fact it's at least 90%. So road design should accommodate specific needs, which also includes the use of public space for parking.

    Okay, you're an engineer - do you think that X should be designed to accommodate the current use or that X should be designed to encourage the most efficient use?

  • Whynot, the invective of the two articles cited in the initial post of the thread claimed outrage that 97% of the miles upon miles of "public space" aka the sum total of "space" (hardly parks) present along *all* NYC streets were given away for free for the sole benefit of car owners.

    The conversation was framed here as a travesty that only 3% of all, yes all, city streets are metered and apparently that means that the city is just giving public space away for the sole benefit and subsidy of car owners.

    But yeah, for the tiny percentage of city streets actually within highly concentrated, commercial areas I agree that there should be enough metering to encourage frequent turnover of spots for those coming in and out of the neighborhood by necessity, and enough parking on residential side streets (perhaps by paid zone permit holders only) to serve a reasonable amount of residents with cars.

    In other words, unlike what the cited articles suggest, a balance for highly-concentrated commercial areas. Not an additional would-be tax on the entire miles of streets present in NYC used as the basis of the argument in those articles.

  • 1. What ever benefits the most people.

    2. I imagine that very few people NEED a car. In addition to the subway and bus system, Car services, Access a ride, etc are available. The use of these resources is often much cheaper than car ownership, so I can't see this as having an effect on the poor. However, there are people who genuinely NEED their cars and who would not be adequately served by these systems. I establish a procedure to exempt them from the usage fees

    3. I dislike bikers who feel the law does not apply to them. I'd be ok with taking all of the fees from on street parking, and putting it toward traffic enforcement. ....let's even target bikers.

    4. How does reducing the number of spaces available to for cars to park inhibit travel? By establishing loading zones, it seems as if there would always be a space to park and less double parking.

    ....yes, BRT is the way to go. One of the first ways to make BRT feasible is to get rid of a lot of the on street parking, and/or have it subsidized by those who drive cars.

    Remember, implementing a fee (or restriction) causes people to use a resource less. In this case we are going to implement a fee (or restriction) on on-street parking. Such actions will make bus transit faster due to less cars on the road.

  • whynot_31 said:

    I think people are getting way off topic.

    I'd like to talk about charging for on street parking in dense areas, and reducing the amount of space that is allocated to it in those areas.

    The rest of the city I would not bother.

    ...I also find it interesting that people are focused on the miniscule number of people who are commuting via bike. As someone who could not imagine commuting by bike, I find these stats less than surprising, and not very interesting.

    When I think about it, I don't care what purpose (bike lanes, loading zones, benches, trash areas, etc) they allocate the parking spaces that are taken from cars.

    All of these uses would be uses that served more people than the owner of a private vehicle. As a citizen, I am merely concerned that the most people get the benefits from our limited resources.

    Well, the bike stats are important because so much of said public space in this discussion is being used for bike lanes. I mean BG complains that parking spaces only benefit 54% of the population, but has no problem redesigning that space to benefit 5% of the population who won't even be using the space year round. Doesn't seem fair to me.

    It strikes at the essence of the question- how can the public space currently occupied by parked cars benefit everyone in the city as much as possible? If we're playing the % game bike lanes are prob the worst way to go (and again, I commute by bike!)

    In certain instances, I think the best use might be to facilitate faster bus service. But I think about my old apt on Bergen St, and the cross town bus that ran along Bergen/Dean... parked cars had no effect on it, except for the occasional double parked car (which is illegal anyway, and even still didn't completely stop the bus from passing). The B44 on Nostrand got held up a lot by double parked cars... IMO parking on aves like Nostrand should just be banned completely. In the city parked cars rarely interfere w/bus service, and during certain hours on certain streets parking is banned. Perhaps more has to be done to that end... but it's not like NYC is some parking utopia.

    The article is just bad man. Doesn't look at the variations in population density or the efforts already being made to best utilize said public space.

  • Jeffery,

    I'm aware of the tone of the articles that started the thread.

    I'm trying to get people to think about non radical solutions which would reduce the problem, and be acceptable to most of the population.

    I do not attempt to make the car loving zealots OR the spandex wearing bikers happy. .....it just isn't my style, and isn't achievable.

  • CTK,

    how about the other ideas?

    -designated trash spots on every block.

    -loading and unloading zones

    -public benches

    -On some streets we'd ban on street parking almost entirely to facilitate BRT

    ...as a result, we'd lose about 5 spaces per block on the average "urban" block, yet not bother the folks in Bayside.

    Because I think the money would be wasted, I'd be like you and not let the city muni-meter the remaining ones.

    Deal?

  • Whynot, #2 above is from a hub-centric perspective.

    This fails to account for so much of the city where there's only one erratic local line or measly bus going in only two opposite directions, and amenities, work etc. are farther apart in *all* directions.

    The articles wrongly use the vast majority of city streets that serve these areas in their misleading calculations.

    But we agree that this should just be more of an issue to be resolved in the small, densely-populated hub areas near Manhattan, not the whole rest of the city as included for outrage effect in these articles' stats.

  • Ah, just saw your post above. Got it.

  • WhyFi said:

    Okay, you're an engineer - do you think that X should be designed to accommodate the current use or that X should be designed to encourage the most efficient use?

    I think it's a mix of the two. No matter how you slice it though, due to low population involvement and low utilization rates, bikes are not a big people mover in NYC. Plus there's not much convertibility- i.e., if you have a family of four with a car and essentially price them out of owning it, they're not all gonna go buy bikes. They're gonna use public transportation. So if the initiative is to have less cars on the road, then PT has to be strengthened to accommodate people leaving their cars.

    whynot_31 said:

    2. I imagine that very few people NEED a car. In addition to the subway and bus system, Car services, Access a ride, etc are available. The use of these resources is often much cheaper than car ownership, so I can't see this as having an effect on the poor. However, there are people who genuinely NEED their cars and who would not be adequately served by these systems. I establish a procedure to exempt them from the usage fees

    You would be surprised. Back when I was commuting from BK to the BX, my car cost me about $600 or so a month after insurance and gas. It took about 30 mins to get there in the morning and about an hr to get home. PT would be about an hour and a half, including about a half a mile to mile long walk (depending on the route), plus since part of the commute was on a bus, during rush hour who knows. Cab fare there is about $40 each way or $1800/mo. Car wasn't the only way but it was the easiest.

    3. I dislike bikers who feel the law does not apply to them. I'd be ok with taking all of the fees from on street parking, and putting it toward traffic enforcement. ....let's even target bikers.

    I don't think it's fair to "target" anybody, but bikers have had carte blanche for some time now. If we want the resources we have to play by the rules. Me personally, I could care less about a fancy bike lane. Just give me something and let me be.

    4. How does reducing the number of spaces available to for cars to park inhibit travel? By establishing loading zones, it seems as if there would always be a space to park and less double parking.

    If you don't have a place to park your car, you can't own one. On a residential street, a loading zone isn't something that should take priority... the UPS dude is in and out in 5 mins, I think double parking can be excused in that instance.

    ....yes, BRT is the way to go. One of the first ways to make BRT feasible is to get rid of a lot of the on street parking, and/or have it subsidized by those who drive cars.

    I agree, but again, only where it is needed. Bergen St does not need a BRT lane, it needs more frequent bus service.

    Remember, implementing a fee (or restriction) causes people to use a resource less. In this case we are going to implement a fee (or restriction) on on-street parking. Such actions will make bus transit faster due to less cars on the road.

    This is true, but again, most major throughfares where buses are a must already have pay for play parking. I think most, if not all parking on Nostrand Ave is metered, and yet people still park on it all day. In such instances the best solution is probably just to ban parking completely w/a dedicated bus lane

  • Let's start with Flatbush Avenue.

    There's recently been a proposal to redo the "street scape" between the Barclays arena and GAP ( a very congested area). The proposal calls for:

    ....more benches.

    ...fewer lanes for cars.

    ...dedicated lanes for Buses

    ...no on street parking for cars at anytime.

    ...no silly muni meters.

    ...no green painted lane with no one in it.

    should we do it?

    (a big part of me thinks we have been doing "traffic calming" under the guise of helping bikers, but that we should focus on the other benefits)

    Can't we just reduce the amount of on street parking because it doesn't serve the majority? ...must we say we are doing it for an EVEN SMALLER percentage of the population? (seems like a bad strategy)

  • Cool The Kid said:

    Alright I will play nice.

    It's not a question of playing nice.

    It's being realistic about the ongoing discussion in this city and community.

    Bikers are not a uniformly or even majority angry lot when it comes to negotiation of public policy (everyone's angry when they get a ticket of course).

    This is a false perception based on unhelpful generalizations and it is endemic to many bike lane discussions.

  • jeffrey said:

    Whynot, the invective of the two articles cited in the initial post of the thread claimed outrage that 97% of the miles upon miles of "public space" aka the sum total of "space" (hardly parks) present along *all* NYC streets were given away for free for the sole benefit of car owners.

    Can you specifically explain to me the offensive invective in these articles?

    http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/03/22/new-york-has-81875-metered-parking-spaces-and-millions-of-free-ones/

    http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/02/25/nyc-asks-banks-for-ideas-on-parking-privatization/

    http://www.streetsblog.org/2008/10/15/study-city-residential-parking-requirements-lead-to-more-driving/

    The conversation was framed here as a travesty that only 3% of all, yes all, city streets are metered and apparently that means that the city is just giving public space away for the sole benefit and subsidy of car owners.

    Public on-street private car parking is indeed devoting space for free to something that benefits only one person or one family at a time. I'm not sure how this is a disputable observation in any way.

  • whynot_31 said:

    I think people are getting way off topic.

    I'd like to talk about charging for on street parking in dense areas, and reducing the amount of space that is allocated to it in those areas.

    The rest of the city I would not bother.

    ...I also find it interesting that people are focused on the miniscule number of people who are commuting via bike. As someone who could not imagine commuting by bike, I find these stats less than surprising, and not very interesting.

    When I think about it, I don't care what purpose (bike lanes, loading zones, benches, trash areas, etc) they allocate the parking spaces that are taken from cars.

    All of these uses would be uses that served more people than the owner of a private vehicle. As a citizen, I am merely concerned that the most people get the benefits from our limited resources.

    Completely agree.

    My goal in this post was to discuss rethinking how much public space is devoted to parking private personal vehicles that benefit one family or person at a time, for 48 to 96 hours at a time, or longer.

  • whynot_31 said:

    Let's start with Flatbush Avenue.

    There's recently been a proposal to redo the "street scape" between the Barclays arena and GAP ( a very congested area). The proposal calls for:

    ....more benches.

    ...fewer lanes for cars.

    Hm. With other avenues slowed and narrowed I'm not sure this will result in anything other than more congestion, more horns and more NY'ers road-raged into cutting eachother off at the expense of traffic, bikes and pedestrians.

    Problem is that there are limited options for bridge/downtown-bound commercial traffic in addition to peak car traffic. But heck, even outside of peak times it's the wild west.

    Maaaaayyyybe if combined with something like the bus lane suggestion I make below.

    But even then...dunno if that's realistic in anything other than exacerbating things.

    But then again, politicos are often all about exacerbation. Surprising that few have gone blind. (ha)

    ...dedicated lanes for Buses

    It would be great if private vans, Access-A-Ride and other group transportation vehicles were required to use this as well.

    ...no on street parking for cars at anytime.

    Another Hmmmrmmrmrmrmmm, this time with added head-scratching.

    Maybe just between 7pm and 7am? Commercial deliveries only for the rest of the day?

    Merchants need that.

    ...no silly muni meters.

    Suggestion above might eliminate need for that, but there is the lost revenue.

    Just be aware that folks driving (for there always will be, location/purpose necessary and more often, not...) to local shopping, services, restaurants etc. will only further clog up parking on adjacent residential streets.

    Even folks with good transit options...not leading to Flatbush Ave. (anyone due West, for example, now that bus lines were canceled and subways = no way)

    ...no green painted lane with no one in it.

    Too many dependencies above to compute. Shutting down.

    *core memory dump

    ***edited to fix quote bracketing

  • Boygabriel said:

    Can you specifically explain to me the offensive invective in these articles?

    Just to clarify any misinterpretation, there was no mention of offensive invective.

    What I mentioned was that the invective approach of the articles framed the discussion as an outrage and apparent injustice on a massive scale to provoke and provide more justification for the site's sympathetic audience.

    There was no mention of the articles themselves as being offensive. Crafted as an outrage (injustice, not anger) to mobilize that audience, yes. The articles themselves as offensive, no.

    http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/03/22/new-york-has-81875-metered-parking-spaces-and-millions-of-free-ones/

    Well, the url, for starters. Then the premise: millions of free parking in otherwise available public space. Boosted by stats misleadingly inflated (massively deflating the % paid, to be specific) on a logarithmic scale to include millions of free spaces among *all* streets in NYC.

    Worded and posted on a particular site audience strongly skewed to the cause where one could count on it provoking outrage and being spread like wildfire among the choir that would not reasonably question or doubt the veracity of any of the above, so long as there were some apparent stats provided to support it.

    And deliberate avoidance of the (at least) 60-year normal reality across the US and other first-world countries that parking on roads and streets is generally what is done.

    Strangely, that is portrayed here as some outrageous conspiracy to subsidize more cars to the ultimate sole benefit of car owners.

    They might as well have additionally inflated their numbers for further clutch-pearls outrage effect to state that, of the 4 million miles of streets and roads in the US, free parking accounts for more than 99.999% of that.

    I could go on, but those are the main glaring ones for just the first article cited.

    And the following, re-quoting the original post that set the context here, is one possible example of the resulting, relayed call-to-arms re-posting and commentary that are often the (intended) effects meant to radiate outward from such skewed articles:

    (please, nothing personal intended...everyone's done similar for causes dear to them, including me :)

    Roughly 97% of parking spaces in NYC are free.

    That's miles of public space, given away for free, so that people can park their own personal cars FOR FREE.

    It's a terrible use of public space. It gives way too much priority to car ownership. And it renders arguments about bike lanes and parking spaces completely moot.

    The following echo some forms of similar themes mentioned above about the initial article, in a call-to-arms sense:

    http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/02/25/nyc-asks-banks-for-ideas-on-parking-privatization/

    http://www.streetsblog.org/2008/10/15/study-city-residential-parking-requirements-lead-to-more-driving/

    Boygabriel said:Public on-street private car parking is indeed devoting space for free to something that benefits only one person or one family at a time. I'm not sure how this is a disputable observation in any way.

    So, what percentage of the population drives a car?

    + Plus +

    How many commercial vehicles are there on a regular basis?

    Something tells me (and CTK provided stats to this effect) the total number of just those is on a whole order of magnitude higher than the small percent of the population that would regularly use same space for only some of the day.

    I'm not sure that's disputable in any way.

  • I think the strongest argument is:

    Given NYC's growing population, allocating so much space in dense areas to on-street parking is no longer "wise".

    What once posed acceptable tradeoffs, no longer does.

  • +1 whynot

  • jeffrey said:

    +1 whynot

    So then...

    we agree?

  • Boygabriel said:

    It's not a question of playing nice.

    It's being realistic about the ongoing discussion in this city and community.

    Bikers are not a uniformly or even majority angry lot when it comes to negotiation of public policy (everyone's angry when they get a ticket of course).

    This is a false perception based on unhelpful generalizations and it is endemic to many bike lane discussions.

    Well, cyclist generalizations aside (never mind the fact that I know a lot of cyclists), I don't think it's unreasonable to point out the inherent contradiction in broadly deriding the use of public space for private parking, but then in the same breath championing the use of the same public space for such a limited and underutilizing purpose as bike lanes. We might as well turn parking spaces into public parks, because in the context of NYer's needs & the city's endless traffic and transit problems bike lanes are about as a useful use of road. And in my experience, bikers feel entitled to such a grossly disproportionate dedication of resources and public space to their cause w/o looking at the bigger picture, which only adds to the problem. Admittedly though this may only be the case for the hundreds or so of cyclists I've met in my life so I could be wrong.

    We can wax poetic about the theoretical and philosophical purposes of public space... and to a large degree I agree with you, I would hate for public parks to be razed for more condos or w/e. But the idea that even half the parking spaces in NYC are being misused is false. Many NYCers need cars to make a living, much of the parking space that should be blocked off from parking is, etc etc

  • whynot_31 said:

    I think the strongest argument is:

    Given NYC's growing population, allocating so much space in dense areas to on-street parking is no longer "wise".

    What once posed acceptable tradeoffs, no longer does.

    I think in dense commercial areas this argument holds weight. In dense residential areas with adequate public transportation, alternative and appropriate uses for space now designated to free public parking should be discussed. But my beef is just with the dishonesty and broad sweeping statements from a surface level analysis of the problem. We're not sitting on some kind of gold mine here, there are a few problem avenues and spaces that need to be addressed, but I don't think it's grounds to completely uproot the NYC parking system.

  • I hereby propose that we reduce the on street parking in the "dense" commercial and residential areas by 30%, and we then assign a fee to the remaining spaces in the dense areas.

    Using no maps, I believe that this would leave 93% of the parking places in the city as "free".

    Note: nothing is actually free. My use of the term free in this contexts merely connotes an equal balance of the benefits from allowing the spot to be used by a private automobile relative to its other potential uses. While you were not looking, I conducted a Kant inspired Utilitarian analysis.

    Note #2: I assume that the city will spend an equal amount collecting the fee as the fee itself, therefore the action has no effect on the city's, or MTA's budget.

  • Whynot mentioned and I previously agreed (even laid out suggested measures for) that this is really only just the an issue relevant to densely-populated areas. Not the whole rest of NYC.

    The contention of the articles at the start of this thread, that the entire millions of parking spaces across NYC that may otherwise be used for public spaces or bikes is being given solely for the benefit of a small minority of (reprehensible, it seems) car owners, well...

    I doubt their methods and bias, not to mention their resulting conclusions.

  • whynot_31 said:

    I hereby propose that we reduce the on street parking in the "dense" commercial and residential areas by 30%, and we then assign a fee to the remaining spaces in the dense areas.

    One need look no further than to Brooklyn Heights to see this in action. Parking on one side of the street only on minor side streets, except for street sweeping days.

    As much of a pain as that makes it to find parking, those streets are much less congested, feel wider and are easier on pedestrians and folks on bikes.

    And oh, the parking ticket revenues they must collect.

    ...

    Note #2: I assume that the city will spend an equal amount collecting the fee as the fee itself, therefore the action has no effect on the city's, or MTA's budget.

    Equal? Not more? :)

  • I don't think it's unreasonable to point out the inherent contradiction in broadly deriding the use of public space for private parking, but then in the same breath championing the use of the same public space for such a limited and underutilizing purpose as bike lanes.

    I understand the contradiction you're trying to point out, but it falls apart when you attempt to equate bike lanes to public space devoted to single-private-car parking.

    The two things are not equal or similar.

    Cool The Kid said:

    Many NYCers need cars to make a living, much of the parking space that should be blocked off from parking is, etc etc

    It is estimated that 30% of New Yorkers use their car to commute to work, and that doesn't even specify how many of them do it by choice or by necessity, a distinction central to this discussion.

    You really need to stop making claims based on your anecdotal experiences.

  • anecdotal experience-

    If it is good enough for the rich of Brooklyn Heights, it is good enough for many of us poor schlubs.

  • jeffrey said:

    Whynot mentioned and I previously agreed (even laid out suggested measures for) that this is really only just the an issue relevant to densely-populated areas. Not the whole rest of NYC.

    Do you have any data to support this in any kind of detail.

    When I advocate for rethinking how much public space is devoted to on-street parking, I fully agree that density, neighborhood situations and distance to public transit need to be taken into account. However I'm not sure the 'non high density areas' of the boroughs are as large as you think they are.

    The contention of the articles at the start of this thread, that the entire millions of parking spaces across NYC that may otherwise be used for public spaces or bikes is being given solely for the benefit of a small minority of (reprehensible, it seems) car owners, well...

    I doubt their methods and bias, not to mention their resulting conclusions.

    You can do so obviously, but you haven't actually presented any criticism. This isn't some fly by night angry bike messenger blog.

    It's a non profit ultimately supported by this:

    http://openplans.org/overview/

    Feel free to find fault using specifics. But just b/c they have a goal doesn't mean you can freely dismiss their conclusions, which seems to be what you're doing.

  • Boygabriel said:

    I don't think it's unreasonable to point out the inherent contradiction in broadly deriding the use of public space for private parking, but then in the same breath championing the use of the same public space for such a limited and underutilizing purpose as bike lanes.

    I understand the contradiction you're trying to point out, but it falls apart when you attempt to equate bike lanes to public space devoted to single-private-car parking.

    That's another framed, deliberately skewed comparison put forth as unquestionable by one side in spite of contradicting itself.

    A balanced comparison?

    Let's do the math. How many cars parked on the streets for two days at a time?

    roughly 50 per side, so 100 on an average block

    x # blocks, say just 10 to be minimal

    =========================

    = 1000 cars in just 10 blocks

    How many bikes traverse those same streets during those two days? Not counted multiply, just once. Cars were limited here as counted just once during any given parking period as occupying the space (2 days) so you must apply the same criteria to bikes.

    Nowhere near 1000 *different* bikes counted every 10 blocks. (20 blocks = 2000 bikes etc)

    That's a viable comparison. And that's wayyy more cars using the street parking than bikes.

    That divide only multiplies when you account for the number of persons that benefit.

    bike = 1 person

    car = 1, 2, 3, 4...(single to family)

    But just on parked cars alone it's not even close.

  • jeffrey said:

    That's another framed, deliberately skewed comparison put forth as unquestionable by one side in spite of contradicting itself.

    A balanced comparison?

    Let's do the math. How many cars parked on the streets for two days at a time?

    How many bikes traverse those same streets during those two days? Not counted multiply, just once. Cars were limited here as counted just once during any given parking period as occupying the space (2 days) so you must apply the same criteria to bikes.

    That's a viable comparison. And that's wayyy more cars using the street parking than bikes.

    That divide only multiplies when you account for the number of persons that benefit.

    bike = 1 person

    car = 1, 2, 3, 4...(single to family)

    But just on parked cars alone it's not even close.

    I don't really follow you.

    Here is CTK's quote:

    "I don't think it's unreasonable to point out the inherent contradiction in broadly deriding the use of public space for private parking, but then in the same breath championing the use of the same public space for such a limited and underutilizing purpose as bike lanes."

    Comparing a parking space and a lane of traffic seems like apples to oranges to me.

  • Also of note: Cars pay ~$60/yr or more for registration, and tolls to help support bridges etc. That's a lot of cars, paying a lot of annual registrations and regular tolls all year. Easily in the millions just on annual registrations, probably 100x that when regular toll fees are factored in.

    For all of these claims framed in the context of the one-sided burden cars place on the city, just what have bikes contributed for upkeep of the roads and bridges they use?

    Posed more as a rhetorical question along with doubt of other claims above, just to mention that there are more sides to any issue than what one side carefully positions for its own benefit.

  • Boygabriel said:

    I don't really follow you.

    Here is CTK's quote:

    "I don't think it's unreasonable to point out the inherent contradiction in broadly deriding the use of public space for private parking, but then in the same breath championing the use of the same public space for such a limited and underutilizing purpose as bike lanes."

    Comparing a parking space and a lane of traffic seems like apples to oranges to me.

    I'm puzzled by the response above.

    Instead of relying on someone else's numbers of questionable origin, an actual calculation was done from scratch, open to inspection and discussion by others.

    Anyone here need only look out their window to confirm its accuracy.

    I don't understand why that was diverted into the non sequitur of quoting someone else's post and then moving conversation to rebutting that other post.

    The only verifiable calculation of car vs bike use provided at the moment is as I posted above, until anyone else can provide any alternative with similar objective and transparent methods to enable discussion on actual, not assumed merits.

  • I believe most cars are bigger than a bench, or a bikes.

    I believe that a car occupies more space, more of the time than trash would once a week.

    I believe that more people would use a loading zone during the course of a day, than if a car was parked in the same spot.

  • Also, in reference to that non sequitur point...

    Boygabriel said:

    I don't really follow you.

    Here is CTK's quote:

    "I don't think it's unreasonable to point out the inherent contradiction in broadly deriding the use of public space for private parking, but then in the same breath championing the use of the same public space for such a limited and underutilizing purpose as bike lanes."

    Comparing a parking space and a lane of traffic seems like apples to oranges to me.

    Yes, tens thousands of cars (representing 2-3x as many people) making use of space that only a few hundred bikes (representing 1 person) might use during the period certainly are two different circumstances.

    The sole criteria here is as follows:

    Given any desired route:

    How many cars *actually* use the space in question? 1000s

    How many bikes? 100s

    Simple as that. Based on the articles' own criteria, which use of the space is of widest benefit?

    Absent discussion and comparison of any other similarly objective methods of calculation, the answer is pretty clear.

    Therein lies the contradiction.

  • simple solution already being enacted: kill the bikers with our cars

  • jeffrey said:

    Also of note: Cars pay ~$60/yr or more for registration, and tolls to help support bridges etc. That's a lot of cars, paying a lot of annual registrations and regular tolls all year. Easily in the millions just on annual registrations, probably 100x that when regular toll fees are factored in.

    You're parroting a commonly held falsehood. Gas and vehicle taxes only pay for about 50% of roads at best, and tolls less than 5%.

    http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2003/04transportation_wachs.aspx

    For all of these claims framed in the context of the one-sided burden cars place on the city, just what have bikes contributed for upkeep of the roads and bridges they use?

    That is not how I personally was framing this thread. I can't speak for others.

    Posed more as a rhetorical question along with doubt of other claims above, just to mention that there are more sides to any issue than what one side carefully positions for its own benefit.

    And as always, you are free to provide specific criticisms of any methods or data. But again, having a goal doesn't mean one can be ignored out of hand, whether it's Transportation Alternatives or Streetsblog.

    The only verifiable calculation of car vs bike use provided at the moment is as I posted above, until anyone else can provide any alternative with similar objective and transparent methods to enable discussion on actual, not assumed merits.

    I appreciate how objective you consider yourself, and how self evident it is to you that streetsblog is a completely unreliable source. But as a good friend once told me, there are different perspectives to the same topic.

    Gross number of vehicles used per square foot or whatever is a useful metric, but it hardly tells the whole story.

    As I said, comparing a parking place to a segment of an interconnected series of transportation lanes seems disingenuous to me. There are other problems with your comparison, which I'm happy to expand upon too.

    Feel free to explain otherwise.

  • whynot_31 said:

    I believe most cars are bigger than a bench, or a bikes.

    I believe that a car occupies more space, more of the time than trash would once a week.

    I believe that more people would use a loading zone during the course of a day, than if a car was parked in the same spot.

    Seems whynot also sees some comparison issues.

  • Ha, not at all that. I love bikes and the general idea of more bikes.

    I support more safe access for and use of bikes.

    Sometimes I even sing Bicycle Race in the shower.

    I arrive at this through my own evaluation of different aspects of the situation.

    But I won't go so far as to not question articles or groups supporting articles or media or whatever offering half-truths or misrepresentations or distortions or key omissions to arrive at the same conclusion.

    Funny how reasonable questions often get one summarily into the opposition, though. :scratch:

  • Questions and skepticism are one thing. Writing them off is another entirely.

    If you're going to argue from a devil's advocate position, then that's what I'm going to argue against. Whether you'd place yourself in the actual opposition is obviously up to you.

    I started this thread to engage in what has happened: a discussion and consideration of how much public space is devoted to personal automobile parking and whether American and NYer priorities can, are or will shift going forward.

  • Boygabriel said:

    I don't really follow you.

    Here is CTK's quote:

    "I don't think it's unreasonable to point out the inherent contradiction in broadly deriding the use of public space for private parking, but then in the same breath championing the use of the same public space for such a limited and underutilizing purpose as bike lanes."

    Comparing a parking space and a lane of traffic seems like apples to oranges to me.

    Jeffrey broke it down pretty simply, we all know I have trouble getting to the point

    You claim free public parking is a terrible use of public space, and from what I understand immediately looked to keep bike lanes (which you feel are a good use of public space) from the discussion.

    Jeffrey/booklaw/my point is, from a practical/objective POV, bike lanes are if anything a WORSE use of public space than public parking, as they use nearly as much public space to benefit a significantly smaller part of the population who doesn't even use said resource w/the frequency that car owners do. It's very simple.

    Furthermore, the statistics presented in the article are vaguely obtained, dubiously presented and from a source that seems biased, which is only exacerbated by your immediately almost inflammatory tone. If we're gonna discuss this, we have to deal with reality and look at all aspects of the problem.

  • no, free parking isn't "a terrible use of public space".

    The space available is simply being under utilized in many situations.

    We have proposed alternative uses.

    ....bike lanes are but one possible use.

    As we re purpose the spaces, we will slowly get cars out of them. Nothing will be done suddenly, or without following the proper ULURP procedures; there is no need for car owners to feel threatened.

    In the event that the car owners lose parking spots as a result of ULURP, this will be as a result of a fair process.

    (car owners, it is time to get organized! ...people are coming after spots you believe are yours)

  • Boygabriel said:

    It is estimated that 30% of New Yorkers use their car to commute to work, and that doesn't even specify how many of them do it by choice or by necessity, a distinction central to this discussion.

    By the same token, we don't know how many people who bike to work do it out of necessity or choice, though I will say anecdotally that there are various factors that make commuting from north BK into Manhattan by bike much more feasible than doing so from say, SE Queens to Manhattan.

    Here are some things we do know though:

    - in the outer reaches of the city, public transportation is not good enough for most to warrant not having a car.

    - not everyone can bike into work for a variety of valid reasons (dress code, physical fitness, distance, safety etc)

    - not everyone lives and works in places in the city with clean & quick public transportation routes

    - many people with families have legitimate needs for car ownership that go beyond commuting to work

    So let's put the ideas that cars are wholly unnecessary or that there are affordable/simple alternatives for everyone out there that they choose to eschew for car ownership. That's just not the case. I think there's always room for improvement, but the tone of the author of that blog post seems very myopic & unrealistic, and the article does not seem like a good jump off point for a discussion on NYC's transportation and public space issues.

  • CTK, your points have merit.

    However, we have discussed your points in detail and offered to mitigate the circumstances.

    People who need cars and need to park them will be able to so.

    Let's move on.

  • Fair enough.

  • Now, let's get in front of the various community boards to discuss how we are going to repurpose the freed up spaces.

    ...wait, the DOT is already doing that.

  • ...wait, the DOT is already doing that.

    That's not what Mrs. Weinshall and Chuck told me.

  • The courts will decide whether Mrs. Weinshall and Chuck are correct.

    When the court issues a ruling, I will abide by its decision.

    Until then, the various Community Boards seem to be representing the community nicely, and they have not been found to have done anything wrong. I believe the Community Board is innocent until proven guilty.

    Perhaps the community boards will get more participation now that people realize they actually play a role in their lives.

    ...fine with me.

  • For further reading and I suspect new ammunition for both sides.

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/transportation/residential_parking.pdf

    Interesting page 22 History of New York City Parking Requirements.

    Painful page 24 How Developers opt out of building off street parking.

This discussion has been closed.