City Council OK’s Bills To Promote More Neighborhood Parking
The City Council approved two related pieces of legislation on April 28, that could make life a little more pleasant for many car owners living on residential streets throughout Queens and the rest of the city.
The bills, which could open more parking spaces and reduce the race to find parking space on alternate days, are expected to be signed into law by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
One of the bills would provide the option for some streets to have one less day of alternate side parking if it is deemed they are clean enough to require less attention from the Sanitation Department.
The second bill calls for the creation of an interactive online map showing exactly what the parking regulations are and where parking may be temporarily suspended due to street closings.
The two bills were originally proposed by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D–Manhattan). After their passage, Quinn stated:
“It is often true that less is more, and right now, New Yorkers need less burdensome parking regulations to make life a little easier. This legislation will ease the burden or alternate street parking in all five boroughs and allow New Yorkers to access information more easily about where they can and cannot park their cars. This legislation will address one of the most common complaints we hear about from our constituents.”
The council’s news release on the twinapprovals pointed out, in reference to the alternate side parking bill, that over the past two decades, the cleanliness of city streets “has improved significantly”.
“In fact, based on the Mayor’s Office of Operations ‘Scorecard’ street cleanliness rating program, the city’s streets have reached historically clean levels and are consistently achieving those high scores. Conducting four days of street cleaning per week in some of the city’s cleanest districts— and requiring residents in those neighborhoods to move their cars so frequently— may no longer be necessary. In addition, this bill gives the communities themselves, through their community boards, the power to balance street cleaning needs and alternate side parking regulations.”
In portions of consistently clean qualifying districts that still receive four days of street cleaning per week, the bill would allow the local community board involved to opt out of two days of weekly street cleaning. A qualifying district is defined as a district that achieves an average cleanliness rating of 90 percent or higher for the two preceding fiscal years based on the Scorecard rating system.
But DSNY could restore full street cleaning for any section where street cleaning service was reduced if it fails to achieve a cleanliness rating equal to or greater than 90 percent for three consecutive months, or if the average cleanliness rating for any such section falls below 90 percent during a period of 24 consecutive months.
The street closure notification bill, if enacted, would require the Department of Information, Technology and Telecommunication to post on the Internet an interactive map, searchable by time, date and borough, detailing street closures. The map would also show parking regulations and temporary changes to parking regulations due to street closings. The bill would also require that appropriate contact information be provided for the sponsors of any street fair, block party or festival that results in street closures of or other obstructions of traffic.
“When the city is planning to close some streets, there’s no reason why the people most affected should be the last to know,” Councilmember Dan Garodnick, sponsor of the bill, said. “If there is going to be a street fair, film shoot, crane operation or other activity on your doorstep, you should—and will—be able to plan around it.”