The city plans to raise the price of a three-month Brighton Beach parking permit from $330 to $500 beginning July 1 — making the southern Brooklyn municipal parking lot the most expensive in the city.
“It’s disgusting,” said Fran Schwartz, a Brighton Beach resident who railed against the price hikes at a June 26 Community Board 13 meeting. “I’ve complained and complained and complained, and no one’s doing anything.”
The Brighton Beach Municipal Parking Field, located on Brighton Fourth Street between Brightwater Court and the Boardwalk, offers 312 parking spaces at significantly below-market rate, which, for space in a private lot in the city, averages about $400 a month, according to month
The hike will make the Brighton Beach field the city’s most expensive parking lot, although it will remain cheaper than some city parking garages, including the municipal garage at Delancey and Essex streets, which taxes drivers at a rate of $500 per month.
In late May, transit officials announced their decision to raise the parking fee in 16 municipal parking lots and garages across the city. In Brooklyn, the Bensonhurst and Sheepshead Bay parking lots’ quarterly rates will jump from $150 to $230, the Canarsie lot will rise to $220, and Bay Ridge permits will become $225.
“I’m getting sick about it,” said Schwartz, 75, who has been a permit holder at the Brighton Fourth Street lot for 20 years.
Like many of the 200 residents who park in the field, Schwartz worries she may have to give up her permit after July 1. The closest available parking garage costs $350 per month, and she fears that should she find parking on Brighton Beach’s crowded streets, she will have to walk long distances between her spot and her home at night.
“I can’t say what I’m going to do with my life,” Schwartz lamented.
The Department of Transportation argues that the municipal lots are still priced well below market rate, and claims it must adjust the prices to match soaring demand. The city has not raised the rates in many of its parking lots for years, and Brighton Beach has not seen a price increase since 2002.
On May 30, a group of City Council members responded to the increase in permit costs with a letter addressed to DOT.
“We are dismayed that the DOT chose to make this fee adjustment without any engagement with permit holders or community input,” wrote 11 elected officials, including City Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D–Sheepshead Bay).
“The lots are overwhelmingly located in low- to middle-income, working-class communities, and are surrounded by areas of substantial congestion,” they added. “We ask that you immediately reverse this decision.”
But as the day of the price hike approaches, Brighton Beach permit holders are losing hope.
“I don’t think anyone cares,” said Schwartz.