City says higher fees will make Park Smart meters even smarter

The Brooklyn Paper

Parking on two traffic-clogged, retail-heavy Park Slope streets will soon get more expensive — and, oddly enough, that’s the good news!

Merchants on bustling Fifth and Seventh Avenues have won a long-running battle for meter rates that are steep enough to trigger high visitor “turnover rate,” but not so stiff that they deter out-of-area shoppers.

Come May, the city will raise hourly meter prices from 75 cents to $1.50 during “peak hours” — from noon to 7 pm — on Fifth Avenue, between Dean and 15th streets and on Seventh Avenue, between Sixth and 15th streets.

The price hike is victory for restaurant owners like Irene LoRe, president of the Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District.

“It’s a great idea,” she said. “If meters are too cheap, people are just gonna pump quarters in all day.”

Proper meter prices will help get rid of traffic, too, civic leaders say.

“It’s a great solution because the ultimate goal is to decrease congestion,” said Craig Hammerman, District Manager of Community Board 6.

Hammerman was focused on congestion because a 2007 study showed that a large percentage of cars in motion at any given time in Park Slope are simply looking for parking.

In May 2009, the Department of Transportation launched a pilot program called PARK Smart that increased meter rates from 75 cents to $1.50 per hour on a select portion of Fifth Avenue, between Sackett and Third streets, and on Seventh Avenue from Lincoln Place to Sixth Street.

The goal was to boost business by shooing away drivers who monopolize spots — and the Department of Transportation says that its data show it’s working.

As a result, the city initially suggested raising the $1.50 meter price to $2.25 on Fifth and Seventh avenues — but that’s where Park Slopers objected.

“It’s just a way for the city to make money,” said Jo-Ann Kalb, who runs Park Slope Copy Center on Seventh Avenue, arguing that fees so high would discourage customers.

The $2.25 idea was nixed, but the more modest increase earned the support of Community Board 6 last week.

The hike is expected to take effect in May.

Reader Feedback

Or from Yellow Hook says:
It sure is good news for the suburbs where you can park for free!

Smart Meters too expensive or no change or City parking card? No problem, double parkm or just circle endlessly!

Why is the solution to everything more money?

When do tempory taxes sunset and go away?

The "temporary" sales tax of 1% was just for the duration of WW2. The Temporary surcharge on traffic tickets was for the recesion of the 1970's as was the temporary surcharge on vehicle registration.

How about those tolls? People thought that when the brige or tunnel was paid off the tolls would be gone? Nope - it's to pay off the bond, and the bond just gets re-issued.
March 21, 2011, 8:31 am
Scottilla from Midwood says:
In Portland Oregon, the Muni Meters accept debit cards for payment. Why is that impossible here?
March 21, 2011, 8:41 am
yo scotilla from da city says:
muni meters here accept debit cards, yo.
March 21, 2011, 9:51 am
Max from Cobble Hill says:
Only the truly fertummelt want some schmuck sitting in the parking spot in front of their store all day. Nobody is shopping on 7th avenue for the free parking. These meters. Let them do their job and make it easier to park.
March 21, 2011, 11:45 am
JJJJ from The river says:
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Why is the solution to everything more money?

Do you have a better, more convenient system for providing incentives? Most people would prefer a $100 ticket over 10 lashes I'd think. What works better than coins for paying for a space? Promising certain hours of labor?
March 21, 2011, 3:38 pm
Andrew from Williamsburg says:
One thing that happens quite often is that people who work in these stores drive to work and feed the meter all day, depriving customers of parking.

The only way to take away the incentive for employees to feed the meter is to raise the price of parking high enough so that they begin to look for free space further away (on one of the side streets), or that they avoid driving altogether.
March 21, 2011, 5:20 pm
david from park slope says:
there goes the side street parking...... I will never go to any store that thinks taxing there customers is good.... Yo dum dum the vast majority of your customers are walkin from the neighborhood.... U just made there shopping harder.
March 21, 2011, 7:48 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I think that this is a bad idea. Raising the fees will only make less want to park there. I don't believe that they will get rid of traffic either. Seriously, not everyone will have enough to pay for the full amount until it runs out. If you asked me, I think that Park Smart is anything but smart. The only thing that will make people smart on will be by not parking there. It's a good thing that I am able to find parking on the street without having to pay. However, it's a secret, and if I said where, then it wouldn't be a secret.
March 22, 2011, 3:48 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
The solution to everything is always more money.

Later we find that we still have the problem, but the money is now spent and gone.
March 23, 2011, 2:50 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
What was Donald Shoupe taking when he thought about this, because whatever it was, I don't want it? How again is making the amount on paying for metered parking higher considered smarter? If metered parking would be privatized, it wouldn't even help the city at all, but rather have the private business who is doing it make the money instead. BTW, this was tried in Chicago and it was found to be an epic fail, and not only were the cost of the parking meters more, but the fines were much higher as well. I wouldn't be surprised that Shoupe was personally sent here by Bloomberg to help screw the hard working as always.
March 23, 2011, 5:34 pm
common sense from bay ridge says:
So, for the price of 2 gallons of gas, you can still leave your car parked at the meter all day. The only differences are going to the lack of parking on the side streets, and more money stolen from residents of NYC.
March 24, 2011, 10:30 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
"muni meters here accept debit cards, yo."

The ones used for regular metered parking do, but the ones that are used for commerical parking don't, which I don't know why.
March 24, 2011, 8:12 pm
Shannon from Bay Ridge says:
We need this program in Bay Ridge!
March 25, 2011, 6:09 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville says:
I could not have written those comments on March 22nd at 4:48 p.m., March 23rd at 6:34 p.m., or March 24 at 9:12 p.m., because I was endlessly driving around Pleasantville looking for a free parking space, but since there are no parking meters in Pleasantville, no one ever moves their cars, so I couldn't find a place to park.
April 8, 2011, 11:36 am
Dave from Park Slope says:
Maybe the guy just grabbed a receipt that had been left in the machine before him?
April 8, 2011, 11:37 am

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