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A city Councilman’s memories of a hot, sweaty and miserable day spent hauling furniture is driving a change in city policy that could transform moving days into a less painful rite of passage.
Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope) introduced legislation last week that would require the city to create temporary moving-day parking permits, allowing people to reserve spots close to the residences they are leaving and the ones they’ll soon call home — a legislative legacy to that long, painful day in Greenwich Village 20 years ago, when he lugged his friend’s bulky desk and dresser from a block away.
“We would have been a lot less grumpy if each trip didn’t involve the extra block,” said Lander.
“There will still be times when friends dragoon friends into helping them move into fifth-floor walkups, but [with this bill], they won’t have to be the van lookout.”
Lander envisions something similar to the way that the city issues street fair permits. Would-be movers would likely apply online and provide evidence that they’re actually changing address. The Police Department would issue the appropriate signage, Lander said.
The freshman councilman admitted that the bill, which currently has no co-sponsors, could create enforcement challenges.
“Is someone really moving or just seeking a space? Enforcement will certainly be an issue,” Lander said. “How do we make it work so people move out of the reserved spots, and what happens if they don’t?”
But soon-to-move Park Sloper David Edelstein is already eager for an antidote to the hell that is moving day.
“This is an excellent idea, but I’m dubious if it could be successfully executed,” said Edelstein, 51, a film critic who will leave the Slope for Ditmas Park in July.
He said moving vans in his neighborhood often park on Eighth Avenue instead of on the narrow streets, which makes traffic even more clotted.
“I don’t relish all the trips back and forth that I’m going to be taking to the new house,” said Edelstein, who was at the U-Haul on Fourth Avenue picking up packing material. “This bill would really help with the area’s mood and sense of well-being.”
Lander said he expects the moving permits to cost about $50 to $100, enough to cover any additional city administration cost.
Mark Ehrhardt, owner of Movers Not Shakers in Red Hook, welcomes the chance to buy temporary permits, given that his company racks up $30,000 in parking tickets every year.
“It’s a constant dice roll — are we going to get in trouble to do what we do for a living?” Ehrhardt said. “Moving in New York City is almost looked at as an illegal activity. There’s virtually no place to put a truck!”
The bill does not address the parking of trucks overnight, which is currently illegal on city streets.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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