As Congestion Pricing Looms, Electeds Rethink Uptown Parking

With the congestion pricing set to take effect in 2021 Upper Manhattan politicians are mobilizing to form a plan to reform parking regulations in order to prioritize on-street parking.

For city residents instead of suburbanites looking to game the system by storing their cars outside the congestion zone, according to reports.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Uptown City Councilmembers Mark Levine and Ydanis Rodriguez are have proposed creating a residential parking permit system, but the city isn’t a fan of the policy, the Daily News first reported. A permit system would reserve curbside parking spots on residential blocks for neighborhood residents who buy parking permits, according to the report.

Levine proposed a bill in March that would designate up to 80 percent of parking spaces in residential blocks for locals, while leaving commercial streets exempt. The councilmember told the Daily News that coming up with a plan for parking above 60th street is an urgent priority reported Patch.

“This problem is only going to get worse when we implement congestion pricing,” Levine told the Daily News. “We are perilously close to running out of time.”

Rodriguez — who represents the northernmost district in Manhattan — has authored a similar bill also endorsing the policy of residential parking permits, the Daily News reported.

The MTA has already awarded a $507 million contract to a company called TransCore to desing, build and implement a “first-of-its-kind” tolling system below 60th Street in Manhattan. Congestion Pricing was a major part of this year’s state budget and Gov. Andrew Cuomo expects the policy to raise at least $15 billion for MTA capital projects.

But while residential parking permits has its proponents in the City Council, it may prove unpopular with drivers and the city’s current administration, the Daily News reported. City Department of Transporation officials have previously stated that a permit system may unintended negative consequences and that it would be hard to enact and enforce. One transportation consultant also told the Daily News that any proposal that would make drivers pay for street parking when it was previously offered for free is likely to face serious public opposition.

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