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Watch this space: City may reserve Park Slope parking spots for car-rentals

Compact: Car2go’s tiny vehicles don’t necessarily need a whole space to themselves.
Brooklyn Paper
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The city plans to reserve hundreds of on-street parking spots for car-rental companies such as Zipcar and Car2go as part of a two-year program designed to encourage drivers to ditch their own vehicles — and some of them could be in Park Slope.

City transportation czar Polly Trottenberg recently singled out the Brownstone nabe — known as “no-Park Slope” for its lack of parking — as the kind of place where more so-called “car-sharing” services could really make a difference because many households there keep a vehicle parked on the street for only occasional use, but could be convinced to go auto-free if they had the alternative.

“These households might take advantage of a car-share service, freeing up more on-street parking and making life easier for the remaining residents who require a personal vehicle for their livelihoods,” Trottenberg told the Council’s transportation committee on Dec. 12.

The program will give the private businesses access to 300 on-street parking spaces and 300 spots in municipal lots when it kicks off sometime this spring, according to Trottenberg.

Department of Transportation honchos have not worked out many of the specifics, however — including how they will select which companies participate and if they would be required to pay for the amenity.

They also haven’t tapped any specific neighborhoods yet — Park Slope included — and will gauge interest from local officials and civic groups before making a decision, according to Trottenberg.

“I want to see frankly what kind of a response we get, and what kind of interest there is,” she said.

But some Park Slope leaders are already enthusiastic about offering up some of the spaces in their neighborhood — one area transit guru pointed to studies in other cities that found access to the car clubs reduced private-vehicle ownership, and said that will ultimately leave more space for those who have to drive.

“I think all of this makes a lot of sense,” said Eric McClure, chairman of Community Board 6’s Transportation Committee,

Other Slope motorists might be a tougher sell, if history is anything to go by — many were incensed last year when the city extended Citi Bike to the neighborhood and replaced some parking spaces with bike stations, including members of a mob who stormed a community board meeting in September.

But the neighborhood is also home to some car-rental converts already.

Car2Go allows members to pick up and leave its tiny two-door vehicles at any public parking space in the area — if they can find a free spot — and has already persuaded some Slopers to get rid of their regular rides, according to a local leader.

“As alternative means of transportation become more and more attractive, it starts to increase the benefit side of not owning the car, which can be expensive and frustrating in the city,” said Community Board 1’s district manager Craig Hammerman.

Park Slope is also served by industry stalwart Zip Car — which uses dedicated private parking rather than public spots like Car2Go — which has rental cars stationed at a handful of garages around the neighborhood.

German car company BMW tried to launch its Car2go competitor Reach Now in Brooklyn late last year, but had to suspend the service due to problems with its app and delays in vehicle maintenance, according to a statement from the company.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 1:48 am, January 10, 2017
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Reasonable discourse

Wanda Pooters from Park Slope says:
Why are these spaces reserved for "cars" and not alternative means of transportation? Bicycles? Pedestrians??
Jan. 10, 2017, 9:35 am
road rage from Brooklyn says:
This is another smack in the face of private motorist!

They are getting FREE parking in the public street yet they are a private business. What other commercial establishment gets private use of the public street for free and at the expense of private motorists loss of parking spaces. Horrible & unjust!!!

They shouldn't get any benefit over any other company. Perhaps private trucks and buses should be allowed to store all their equipment on the public street without paying for it!!!!!!

Let them pay for off street land for parking at market rate like any other business has to do.
Jan. 10, 2017, 10:26 am
jack potter from Park Slope says:
wow so space reserve for bicycles. reserve for corp enterprises. What about handicap or elderly. Persons that have children and want to keep their car. Subways run by semi govt business enterprise with massive overcrowding. More tall skyscrapers catering to the more affluent. We are becoming more self centered and catering to the select. So much for democracy.
Jan. 10, 2017, 10:31 am
Tyler from pps says:
Road Rage -- Why do you think these companies will get reserved parking for free? The article above (that you clearly didn't read) references the DOT working on details such as fees.

The sense of entitlement from the *minority* of city residents who own private cars is astounding.

Car-share vehicles are used regularly by multiple people per day. Meanwhile, we (all of us) are paying for your personal property to be stored, unused for sometimes weeks. Market rates for companies but not for you? Hmmm...

I own a car, but I also live in a less dense part of the city. If I lived in Park Slope or Bay Ridge or Williamsburg, I wouldn't be whining like you guys if the city restricted my ability to store my private property. I'd probably look at using a car-share service instead!
Jan. 10, 2017, 10:52 am
Charles from Bklyn says:
When the middle and lower classes in NYC lose the ability to own a car, the desparity between the top 1% and bottom 99% increases. I believe this inequality issue is more important than squeezing car owners for commercial gain. Certainly does not reduce car density.
Jan. 10, 2017, 11:15 am
Jeff from Brooklyn says:
Charles,

Guess what - the middle and lower classes in many parts of NYC already live car-free.

Take a look at Car2Go's service map and car ownership rates in same areas.
Jan. 10, 2017, 11:36 am
Tyler from pps says:
"When the middle and lower classes in NYC lose the ability to own a car" -- This was NEVER a thing in NYC. So ridiculous. A car has always been, by and large, a luxury in this city.
Jan. 10, 2017, 11:41 am
jack potter says:
" A car has always been, by and large, a luxury in this city."

The top 1% don't own a car they are chauffeured driven. Many cars are for transportation. kids going to soccer games outside the city and boroughs. The rental charge to the consumer cost of these ex go late model cars is expensive and used to fill chekels for the stockholders. I can't afford this service, yet they want to lock a space. Why not charge like $1 so the less fortunate can use it. No one should have a private spot. So much for your beatup 20 year old car just to travel. So now you are told how to travel.

car2go is a subsidiary of Daimler AG providing carsharing services in European and North American cities. The company offers exclusively Smart Fortwo and Mercedes-Benz vehicles and features one-way point-to-point rentals. Users are charged by the minute, with hourly and daily rates available.
Jan. 10, 2017, 1:55 pm
Trollerskates from Moving Target says:
Everyone fighting about parking, yet most will no longer have health coverage, or Medicaid, or SSI when they get older. Not to mention foaming at the mouth wannabe war criminals about to be getting their hands on the most lethal war machine in the history of mankind. Car parking is the least of things to worry about:
Jan. 10, 2017, 1:57 pm
old time brooklyn from slope says:
" A car has always been, by and large, a luxury in this city."

What planet are you from (or suburb) - just about everyone I know has a car - why we - heavens to Betsy - have two
Jan. 10, 2017, 3:40 pm
Paul from Brooklyn says:
@ old time

That is because you live off welfare. Not everyone is lucky enough to mooch off tax payers.
Jan. 10, 2017, 4:51 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I don't see why these car sharing companies just can't find a garage or lot to rent out as if finding a parking space in the streets is already hard enough for most of those that drive.
Jan. 10, 2017, 5:15 pm
Tyler from pps says:
Tal -- If you think "garage or lot to rent" makes sense for the purpose and the way these car-share systems work.... You probably also think CitiBike would work if all of the bikes were put into 3 or 4 bike "garages."
Jan. 10, 2017, 5:19 pm
Rightwiceaday says:
About 1/2 Brooklyn and Bronx and a majority of Queens households own cars. Manhattan's density makes it a different animal. http://www.nycedc.com/blog-entry/new-yorkers-and-cars. My guess is that most people (possible exception of cycling "advocates") understand that curbside parking has long been the only way middle class New Yorkers in the outer boroughs can afford to have a car (and car owners do pay fees).
Jan. 10, 2017, 5:50 pm
Tyler from pps says:
Whoa.... What was that last little add-on there, Righttwiceaday?

"and car owners do pay fees"

Umm... I'm a car owner. What fees do I pay over my non-car owning neighbors that find their way into the CITY coffers? What fees do I pay that support maintenance of CITY streets?

(Hint: None.)

By the way, the areas that car-share services would be given (paid) reserved street space are in the densest of neighborhoods. Manhattan is not any less dense than many many parts of Brooklyn. It's not "a different animal." Every brownstone is now a multi-family dwelling, not a single-family mansion... and most every neighborhood has large multi-unit, high density housing.
Jan. 10, 2017, 6:04 pm
old time brooklyn from slope says:
Paul from Brooklyn says:
@ old time

That is because you live off welfare. Not everyone is lucky enough to mooch off tax payers.

Wow - how did you come to that conclusion?
Jan. 10, 2017, 6:26 pm
old time brooklyn from slope says:
like i have said before - two cars - i rent my driveway and park on the street - this i s not cup of coffee , idaho
Jan. 10, 2017, 6:30 pm
Guest from NYC says:
Rightwiceaday, households does not equate per person. We live in a city with an average household size between 2.5-3.0, with many non-traditional households. That means that not everyone in a household drives, or even has access to a car. The vast majority of people who live in NYC do not drive on a regular basis, nor have access to a personal automobile.

Adding car share only spots to curbside parking will encourage more usage of that mode, while discouraging private ownership. That is the right direction.
Jan. 11, 2017, 3:40 am
NN from Boerum Hill says:
This is a great idea! I saw this when I visited Washington D.C. and wondered why we don't have dedicated spaces for car shares in NYC.
Jan. 11, 2017, 3:48 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I guess some don't seem to understand the side that does need a car to get around on a normal basis. Unfortunately, NYC does have its transit deserts, which makes the car the most efficient way to get around. Until better alternatives are given to them, they will need to drive. Getting to this car sharing program, I'm all for it, but there are places they can place without having to make others circle around for spaces. In Manhattan, there are already rental car companies that use parking garages for their space rather than actual spaces on the streets, which I don't see why this can't be the case here. Then again, whatever screws up us motorists is always a good thing for the anti-car fanatics. On a side note, I do pay a lot of fees just about every year for having a car, and if I don't, I not only can get fined but even have a suspension of my drivers license just for failure to renew.
Jan. 11, 2017, 3:52 pm
Mike from Brooklyn says:
Tal,

Guess what? Car2Go's service area does not overlap with "transit deserts". So as usual your barely coherent nonsense is irrelevant.
Jan. 11, 2017, 7:11 pm
Matt from Greenpoint says:
The cab companies that store their unrented cars in public street parking are also a private company that gets "free parking".
They got clobbered by Uber.
Who is to say that these other private companies, Car2Go, etc won't have cars sitting for days in public spots.
I suppose they get out of street cleaning regs too. But hey, they tell us it is of the utmost importance to move our car every other day because the streets are just sooooo dirty. Nothing to do with ticket revenue, of course.
Jan. 11, 2017, 7:52 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
First of all, knock it off with the impersonations especially you Mike, who probably did it. Some need to understand that the boundaries of NYC aren't where the subway lines stop. There are places in the outer boroughs that are transit deserts as alternatives to getting around are almost non-existent. I really feel that Car2Go should try to find better places to have their vehicles. Also, placing them on regular blocks does mean that they should be subject to street cleaning and other parking regulations. Overall, it's already bad enough that many can't seem to find parking spaces on streets unless their property has a garage or driveway. Another thing is that some need to understand that the car culture is just like the WNBA, because no matter how much seem to hate it, this won't be going away anytime soon.
Jan. 12, 2017, 4:03 pm
Mike from Brooklyn says:
Tal,

YOU need to understand that the boundaries of Car2Go's service area ARE where the subway lines stop. These areas ARE NOT a transit desert. So in what way shape or form is the rant you spew relevant to THIS specific discussion?

And no I am not the person who impersonated you above.
Jan. 13, 2017, 2:08 pm
jack potter from park slope says:
All we see is developer building high skyscraper with no regard to parking or mass transit. MTA is a semi quasi private public entity and the trains are overcrowded and run a barebone on the weekends.
The most expensive properties are by the subway and the poor are being pushed out. Look at Canarsie vs park slope. Would you see Car 2go in Canarsie? A 2004 minivan is a necessity a car 2go is not. Let Car2go rent from the developers.
Jan. 26, 2017, 1:48 pm

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