DOT Pre-Empts Congestion Pricing Fears, or Tries To

The Bloomberg administration is moving ahead with plans to institute residential permit parking programs or similar measures in an attempt to head off the charge that congestion pricing would turn surrounding neighborhoods into parking lots.

Over the next four weeks (as StreetsBlog reported yesterday), the city Department of Transportation will hold workshops open to the public to measure the sentiment in five of those areas over the parking situation. In January, after collecting data, the agency will hold another round of meetings, to explain mitigation options, such as residential permits, Muni-Meters, etc. (These meetings will also be held in the South Bronx and downtown Brooklyn, where parking studies are already underway.)

“We’ve heard a lot since congestion pricing was proposed about the possible impact on neighborhoods that are outside the charging zone if people will park their cars and take the subway into Manhattan,” Bruce Schaller, the Deputy Commissioner for Planning and Sustainability at the DOT, told The Observer. “We wanted to engage the community on these issues and talk through what the needs are for parking in a range of neighborhoods. We can’t talk to everyone, so we selected these five and will extrapolate from them to the rest of the city.”

The targeted neighborhoods, and hearing dates, are the Upper East Side (Nov. 19); Atlantic and Flatbush avenues in Brooklyn (Nov. 27); Central Harlem (Nov. 28); Forest Hills, Queens (Nov. 29); and Long Island City (to be determined). See the DOT Web site for more information.

Hard to imagine anything will get implemented by the time the City Council and state Legislature have to vote on the plan next March, but Bloomberg’s folks will be able to show people they are serious.