The New York Times)
May 31, 2018
Losing a handful of street parking spots along a stretch of Upper Manhattan may seem like relatively little to give up. But in the blood sport that is parking in New York, Elisa Ferreira, who was pushing her son, Mason, in a stroller through Hamilton Heights on a recent weekday, said that the 20 spots the city plans to remove from her neighborhood will just make the ordeal even worse.
“It’s already really hard to find parking” Ms. Ferreira said. “It’s only going to be harder for us.’’
Starting Monday, as part of its campaign to expand transportation options, the city is taking away about 300 parking spots in more than a dozen neighborhoods, mostly outside of Manhattan, and reserving them exclusively for vehicles from car-share companies, like Zipcar. It is the first time the companies, which currently keep their inventory in parking garages, will be allowed to store cars on city streets.
The city’s Department of Transportation is well aware that cutting the number of precious parking spots — even in a city with millions of spaces — will infuriate drivers, some of whom already see the agency as bent on banishing cars as the city continues to install miles of bike lanes and turn parts of thoroughfares into pedestrian plazas. But making more vehicles available to be shared by more New Yorkers, officials said, could lessen the reliance on individual cars and reduce congestion and greenhouse gases.
“It is not my job to make anyone take up a particular mode. It is my job to try to provide the best options I can for all the travelers of New York City,” said Polly Trottenberg, the city’s transportation commissioner. In New York City, just under half of adults own cars, according to the New York City Economic Development Corporation — significantly less than the national average of 92 percent. Car-share programs, officials said, can play a vital role in helping people without cars who live far from public transit get around.