Tuesday, February 5, 2008
RPP Forum Wrap-up
The Residential Parking Permits forum last night was a good opportunity for a give and take between DOT and the community. Jane McGroarty, Joanne Simons and Michael Cairl did a great job of presenting matters from the community perspective.
David Yassky, Letitia James and Bill deBlasio all had some good points to make about the need for residential permit parking. Bill de had an interesting proposal for extending the RPP out to neighborhoods along the transit lines to protect against "park and ride" behavior.
I've said from the beginning that congestion pricing is necessary to reduce traffic and raise money for transit. But to actually eliminate congestion, instead of pushing it into the neighboring communities, we need a plan (RPP) to prevent people from driving their cars to communities outside the zone and taking the subways the last mile to avoid a toll. I don't want to move traffic; I want to eliminate it.
And let me be clear - I support RPP for ALL neighborhoods that want it. I support RPP not only for Brooklyn Heights and Carroll Gardens and Park Slope; I support RPP for Windsor Terrace, for Kensington, and for every neighborhood that is facing a crisis in parking. This is a city wide issue, and it needs to be addressed that way.
At the forum last night their was a contingent from Windsor Terrace protesting against RPP. The strongest sentiment I've heard from WT is a feeling of being excluded, e.g. "Windsor Terrace would be treated as the parking lot for Park Slope". That's not the way it should be; that's not the way it will be. I look forward to working with the people of WT and Kensington to make sure that we are all getting the same protections.
The last thing I'll say for now is, the system is broken. This problem is not going away, and will only be exacerbated by the tremendous amount of development under way and on the drawing boards. Defending the status quo is indefensible. We need action, and we need action that will treat every neighborhood with respect.
I should also note here that Bruce Schaller from DOT did a good job presenting; the "new" DOT we have these days beats the hell out of the old regime.