Permit permission

Among the bills passed last night by the Assembly: a measure that would allow residential parking permits within one mile of the ESP. Its chances in the state Senate don't look good, though. (Thanks, Alejandro and Summer)


I like it, as long as the permits aren't obnoxiously expensive

hopefully residents won't have to pay...
wishful thinking?

I've never understood why parking permits have to through the state legislature in NYS, especially in a state that takes local control to the extreme - the Village of Altamont in the Town of Guilderland, for example. In every other state I've lived in, cities could do whatever they wanted and lived with the consequences. Can anyone explain this to me?

That's a good question, Susan. I wondered the same thing myself-- perhaps because it's close to the ESP, which is state property (is it even?)

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe it has to do with the Vehicle and Traffic Law, as it's written in this State. I don't know the exact specifics, but I'm pretty sure that city rules in regards to parking, speed limits, etc., are regulated by the VTL. (Believe me, I'd like to see the speed limit lowered in residential areas of cities, i.e., the Center Square neighborhood!)

As for this legislation, as someone who lives in the neighborhood, I 110% DO NOT support it. There is a misconception that all employees who work downtown have access to parking and/or public transportation that they "just don't want to use." This is simply not true. Many State workers are on waiting lists to even get into satellite lots, and on top of that many employees who work downtown are not State employees and not eligible to park in those lots *at all.* Additionally, many of the numerous not-for-profits, lobbying firms, legislative offices, and State agencies hire student interns, none of whom would necessarily be eligible for parking and certainly cannot afford the prohibitive cost of buying into a lot (which usually runs around $100 a month). I used to be one of these interns, and because I was living at my mother's and commuting (because, at the time, I couldn't afford housing downtown) I had no other choice but to park on the street.

Furthermore, the problem is not with daytime parking. While it may be a nuisance to park far away from your residence at, say, 10am on a weekday, it's just that - a nuisance. It's far more of a problem that residents often have to park far away late at night. However, this "parking permit" system would do nothing to remedy this problem, which is far more of a public safety issue.

Plus, what if some residents don't get parking permits? Only so many are going to be issued, according to this. Is there a waiting list for that? Where does one park if you don't have a permit? What will be the administrative backlog on this? If you move into the neighborhood, will you be able to get a permit asap, or will you have to wait? What will residents do then? This scheme simply hasn't been thought through, and will disadvantage far more people than it will help.

Regardless of all of this, those of us who choose to live in this neighborhood do so for exactly the reasons parking is a headache - it's close to work, it's close to great eateries, it's close to buslines, and it's close to nightlife. If we make access to these things difficult, how is that achieving anything?

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