Making space: North Brooklyn to lose 100 on-street parking spots to city’s new rental-car program

Making space: North Brooklyn to lose 100 on-street parking spots to city’s new rental-car program
Department of Transportation

Sharing is car-ing!

City transit honchos will hand over 100 on-street parking spots across North Brooklyn to rental-car companies as part of a new program encouraging locals to ditch their own rides for borrowed ones, according to maps recently released by the Department of Transportation.

But proponents of the scheme, which kicks off this spring, claimed that sacrificing the spots to the initiative will actually alleviate parking concerns because it will lead more residents to permanently part with their vehicles.

“I understand it’s hard to park in Brooklyn and people get upset when they hear parking spaces are getting used, but research indicates that public car-share programs make it easier to park,” said Eric McClure, the head transit honcho on Park Slope’s Community Board 6.

Neighborhoods located within Community Board 6, including Park Slope, Red Hook, Carroll Gardens, and Cobble Hill, will lose the lion’s share of on-street spots to the rental cars, with 70 spaces at 35 locations being dedicated to the program, according to the maps, which are in a “semi-final” state.

Nabes governed by Community Board 2 will net the remaining 30 spots, which are clustered around five locations in Brooklyn Heights and 10 in Boerum Hill, the maps show.

Transportation department reps presented the preliminary maps to both civic groups at separate Jan. 18 meetings, where board members and locals provided comments that may result in some changes to the final versions between now and spring, according to agency spokeswoman Alana Morales.

Transit officials researched how on-street rental programs affected driving habits in other cities — including Boston, Washington, DC, and San Francisco — and found that every rental car added to their roads resulted in the loss of five to 20 personal vehicles, either because residents outright ditched their rides or decided against purchasing new ones when the time came, according to information from the transportation department.

Brooklyn’s dedicated parking spots are open to all on-street rental car businesses that provide one-way or round-trip services, such as Zipcar and Car2go, and many companies are already applying for permits to use the spaces.

The dedicated spots will be subject to new regulations, permitting police to ticket or tow personal vehicles illegally parked in them, according to agency reps, who said the rental-car companies will also be allowed to move unauthorized vehicles occupying the spaces to other locations within a half-mile radius.

And the transportation department will reserve at least 10 percent of available parking at municipal lots citywide for the car-rental program, which Council voted to approve last March.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixs[email protected]glocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.