The New York State Senate convened on Tuesday, March 14th to respond to Governor Kathy Hochul’s state budget proposal. Governor Hochul’s budget proposal showed that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority would suffer a deficit which Hochul proposed New York City could help plug by funding the MTA with $500 million. During the state senate meeting, State Senator Mike Gianaris suggested the introduction of residential parking permits to fund the MTA and to help New Yorkers secure parking in their residential areas.
“Residential parking permits have been requested by many New Yorkers for years,” Gianaris said. “At a time when the MTA faces a historic budget crisis, giving New York City this option is a good way to raise revenue and benefit our neighborhoods at the same time.”
The New York City Council would be granted the authority to implement the residential parking permit if it decides to do so. The permit would cost $30 a month and would give those residents who live in specific areas of New York City preferential treatment when it comes to parking. The city reportedly has 3 million parking spots but New Yorkers who live in certain areas regularly struggle to find a parking spot. Gianaris said a lot of the parking spots are taken by people from outside the neighborhood or out-of-towners.
“It’s not unusual to hear horror stories of people driving around their own block of their home for 30, 45 minutes at the end of the night trying to find a place to leave their car,” he said, as he pointed at the struggle that thousands of New Yorkers had with finding a parking spot.
No finer details were given regarding how the parking permit system would be implemented and enforced. The program would supposedly assist residents with their parking woes and earn a projected $400 million if implemented, helping with the MTA deficit.
The suggested residential parking permit program was criticized by some who saw it as impractical, citing it as just another tax for New yorkers to pay and cost shift. “This is not even remotely feasible in 95% of neighborhoods in NYC,” Assemblymember Kenny Burgos tweeted.
“This is nothing more than a ploy to generate revenue on the backs of middle-class car owners and it will do nothing to solve parking problems, when it’s the residents’ own cars taking up the spots,” Republican City Council minority leader Joe Borelli said. “There aren’t a lot of cars from Kentucky taking up city spots.”
Residential parking permits are a reality in several major cities, including Chicago, London, and Paris. The idea to implement such a program in New York City has not been successful, with previous suggestions coming in 2008 and 2018.