The Albany residential parking permit task force recommendations

A totally unofficial estimate of the area to be covered by the parking permit system.

The task force developing the Albany residential parking permit system released its report and recommendations last week. The file that we received from Common Councilman Richard Conti, the task force's chair, is embedded after the jump.

The report includes many of the provisions Conti mentioned when we talked with him about the system in June. But there are few bits that caught our eye -- we've highlighted those.

If you live/work/visit the area around the Empire State Plaza, it's worth taking a look at this report. There will be a public comment period after an ordinance is introduced. There's also lobbying/emailing/stopping your council person on the street to talk about suggestions or changes. (And based on the comments from June, it sounds like people will have suggestions.)

The report

Albany Permit Parking Task Force Report

A few additional bits

+ The task force recommends dividing the covered area into three zones: Center Square, Hudson/Park, Park South and Washington Park (Zone A), Mansion and Pastures (Zone B), Ten Broeck Triangle (Zone C). "Each zone would require separate signage identifying the area; permits would be issued for a particular zone and not be valid outside that zone."

+ On business permits: "... persons who own or lease real property within a permit area who are not residents but own or lease the property for the purpose of managing a commercial enterprise or professional office there. An additional category of eligibility would be for an employee of a business located within a permit area if their hours of employment are substantially between the hours of 8 AM and 6 PM, Monday through Friday when a permit system is in place. There should be a limitation on the number of such permits that can be issued per business."

+ Recommended fees: $25/year for resident permits, $10/year for visitor permits. (This was already mentioned back in June, but cost is always one of the questions people have.)

+ The report recommends that the fine for "fraudulent or unauthorized use of a permit" should not exceed $250 "and/or suspension of residential parking permit privileges for a period not to exceed six (6) months."

+ The task force recommends holding back 250 of the 2,750 spots allowed by the state law in order "to provide flexibility in addressing implementation issues." The report notes that the number of spots on preliminarily-designated streets currently exceeds the allowed number of spots.

+ On transit: implementation of the system "should provide incentives for alternative forms of commuter transportation downtown that should include greater reliance on public transportation and car-pooling. The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) and the NYS Office of General Services should see this as an opportunity to improve commuter options downtown and create incentives for public transit use, car pooling and other forms of non-vehicle reliant transportation." The report also basically urges OGS to find more parking for state employees.

OK, what's next?

Implementation of the system is still probably a year (or more) away. The mayor's office has to give feedback, a formal ordinance has to be written, then a public hearing, then a vote by the full council. Conti told us in June that implementation would probably be no sooner than late next year.

Comments

I don't understand the business permits. Isn't NYS a businesswith employees?

I found this statement interesting.

"The Task Force recognizes that after implementation of a permit system that a certain level of excess on-street parking capacity is likely to exist through a reduction in all-day commuter parking. The Task Force sees this as an opportunity to make a certain level of this unutilized capacity available on a market-based rate for non-resident commuters. The Task Force recommends that the implementing legislation for the permit system include an option to authorize commuter permits based on a finding after the system is implemented that excess capacity may exist. Any additional revenue from a commuter permit would help to further off-set the cost of administration of the overall permit system."

For clarification, would these recommendations mean that if I leave my car parked on my street during the day (in the permit zone) because I walk to work downtown, that I would need to buy a permit? Only residents who are guaranteed to be away from their homes with their cars during the day could avoid buying a permit.

I think the price is reasonable and it could certainly clear up congestion, so I'm not exactly complaining... just wanting to hear more about how it might affect residents with various schedules.

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