Residential permit parking may soon be coming to Brooklyn and the rest of the city, if area civic groups and elected officials can garner enough support.
Concerned about the threat of traffic and a shortage of parking once the 18,000-seat Barclays Center opens next fall, Councilmembers Letitia James (Prospect Heights/Fort Greene) and Steve Levin (Park Slope/Boerum Hill) are holding a hearing tomorrow morning on state legislation that would allow the Department of Sanitation to grant permits across the city to neighborhoods that make a case for them.
Car owners across the city have long called for the permits to give them protection from commuters who park in their neighborhoods and take the train for the final leg of their trip to work. Other cities, including Chicago and Boston, already issue the permits.
“Permit parking is long overdue in Downtown Brooklyn, Western Queens, Upper Manhattan and other communities where residents must circle for hours trying to find parking near their homes,” state Sen. Daniel Squadron, who is co-sponsoring the legislation with another Brooklyn Democrat, Assemblywoman Joan Millman, told the New York Post.
Residents would pay an undetermined fee for the permits, and 20 percent of the spaces in the permit zones would be open to nonresidents for short-term parking. The permits would not apply to commercial strips, according to the Post.
The Barclays Center, which is scheduled to open in September 2012, will attract “as many as 5,600 cars” from visitors who drive to the arena, according to the Empire State Development Corporation.
"If nothing is done before to mitigate this volume of traffic, there will be an increased risk of vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle accidents that already make Atlantic Avenue Brooklyn's most dangerous road," said Councilwoman James in a news release.
According to James, the ESDC expects 3,000 arena patrons to take up parking spaces in the neighborhoods during the more than 200 expected events each year. James argues that with residential permit parking, not only will residents have easier access to parking spots, but visitors will be dissuaded from driving to the arena, instead taking public transportation.
The Post reports that Mayor Bloomberg declined to comment on the bill, though he had previously backed residential permit parking as part of his failed 2008 congestion-pricing plan.
The hearing will take place Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 10:30 a.m. at 250 Broadway, 14th floor, in Manhattan, and the public is welcome. An online petition has been circulating, as well.