Get ready to pay more for meter parking in Park Slope

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The cost of peak-hour meter parking in Park Slope will go up 33 percent — and the hours that are considered peak could increase under a city plan announced on Thursday night.

The price-hike proposal was met with skepticism by restaurant owners and other Park Slope locals, who said that increasing the cost of parking from $1.50 to $2.25 per hour was too much and would ward off potential customers.

“A rate of $1.50 is the max,” said Irene LoRe, the president of the Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District and owner of Aunt Suzie’s.

“People change their behavior over a couple of dollars — are you going to completely push us out of business?” Lo Re pleaded a few weeks ago when the rumor of a fare hike first surfaced.

But restaurant owners did call for the hours at muni-meters be extended to help free up spaces for customers going out to dinner.

That twist on the idea didn’t entirely please Bruce Schaller, an official with the Department of Transportation, who countered that the extension of metered parking to 7 pm on Seventh Avenue and to 9 pm on Fifth Avenue would require that the peak fare also be applied, lest residents just keep feeding meters until the meter hours end.

Schaller said that studies conducted in other cities found that an off-peak fare in the evening failed to ward off locals so desperate for a parking space overnight that they were willing to fork out money until the metered parking was no longer in effect.

Community Board 6 withheld its approval until next month, but it did praise the so-called Park Smart program, which has successfully reduced the length of time that cars are parked, thus increasing the amount of available parking in a neighborhood desperate for spaces.

“There are more spaces, and from merchants’ perspective, there is more access,” said Schaller.

Currently, the Park Smart program is in effect on Fifth Avenue between Sackett and Third streets, and on Seventh Avenue from Lincoln Place to Sixth Street.

The city also told board members that it is planning to expand the Park Smart program to 15th Street on both avenues — a plan that the community board did approve.

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Reader Feedback

john from ps says:
Irene, feeding the meter all day while you are working is against the rules. That's not the real reason you oppose this, is it?

Raising the rates will create more spaces for a few of your customers whose choose to drive.
June 21, 2010, 9:51 am
Mike from GP says:
Does Irene LoRe have any sense whatsoever? How many commonsense transportation policies can she be against? How out of touch with her customers and neighbors can she be?
June 21, 2010, 9:41 pm
Jack from P SLope says:
It's about time - it was too cheap. Just about any poor person could afford to park on the streets of our neighb!
Please raise it some more so that we don't have ungly poor people cars int he neighborhood anymore.
June 23, 2010, 8:08 am
Ben from Park Slope says:
If Irene LoRe really thinks people drive to her mediocre restaurant, she's delusional. I'd say 95 percent of her traffic comes from people who live in and walk through Park Slope. Higher parking rates are a benefit to everyone. That she can remain this clueless for years now is astounding.
June 23, 2010, 3:56 pm
Aaron from Park Slope says:
Jack: How many "poor people" do you think are driving to Park Slope's Fifth Avenue? What boutiques are these poor folks shopping at once they get there? Are they going for the sushi at Blue Ribbon or the grassfed burger at Belleville? Go protest the elimination of the B71 bus or the D&D swimming pool if you want to speak out on behalf of poor people. But please spare us all the bullsh1t about poor people owning cars in NYC and driving those cars to Fifth Avenue in any great number.

Anyone who can afford to own a car in NYC and has a reason to park it on Fifth Ave can darn well afford a .75/hour increase in meter rates. And, frankly, for all of the damage that cars and oil and greenhouse gas emissions are doing to our city and planet on a daily f'ing basis, we can and should be asking New York City car owners and drivers to be paying much more than they do.

But here's the bigger question: Why in the world do the Fifth Avenue merchants continue to let Irene speak on their behalf? Every time she opens her mouth to speak up against some sensible, useful and relatively harmless new transportation policy she alienates half of the neighborhood. How is this a good thing for the Fifth Avenue merchants? I don't get it.
June 23, 2010, 4:23 pm

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