Items tagged with 'parking'

New parking system for state employees in downtown Albany

state parking lots downtown Albany

Lots and garages in downtown Albany in which the state controls parking spaces. There's a clickable version of the map over on the state's parking portal.

The state Office of General Services has announced the rollout of a new system for allocating parking spaces to state employees who work in downtown Albany.

The new system starts today with open enrollment via a website: parking.ogs.ny.gov.

OGS is touting the new system as "clear and understandable," something that couldn't be said for the previous system. From the press release:

Historically there has been a confluence of parking systems meshed together. In the past, each agency controlled the majority of its employees' spaces through "agency allocations" using a variety of methods for granting parking, while the remaining spaces were allocated by OGS through a complex waiting list system. Conversely, the new OGS Parking System puts the vast majority of parking spaces into a single, transparent, and equitable general pool, with a small number of spaces being provided to agencies for distribution to executive staffs and for unique operational needs.
Under the new system, State employees who currently have parking will be "grandfathered", meaning they will be able to keep their current space (except for those who obtained their spaces through the TPAI program) or they can choose to compete for a new space based on their State service. Those who do not currently have parking, or who hold a TPAI permit, will also be able to compete for parking based on the length of their State service.

About 1,800 spots in various garages and lots will be up grabs (based on seniority) under the new system.

And a heads up: The system will be using a "parking service date" to determine a state employees seniority. The date will be available by logging into the parking portal -- and if you'd like to contest that date, you must do so by July 25. (OGS says the system includes a field for service date discrepancies.)

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Park South redevelopment plan gets final OK

Park South renderings

A rendering of the mixed use buildings along New Scotland Ave.

Updated with newer renderings

The plan to clear and redevelop two whole blocks in Albany's Park South neighborhood got approval to move ahead from the city planning board Thursday evening. Phased demolition of the existing buildings will be starting soon, and construction is slated to begin this October.

The $110 million project -- a collaboration between Albany Medical Center and Tri-City Rentals -- includes more than 265 residential units, retail space along New Scotland Ave, a large medical office building, and a parking garage. Much of the plan has been met with enthusiasm and support by city leaders and community members, but the garage -- and its size -- has been a frequent target of criticism. And Thursday evening was no different.

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How much parking is enough?

Park South parking study AMC employees home ZIPs

From the study: Where AMC employees live by ZIP code. (Don't squint, here's a larger version.)

How much is enough?

That's one of the questions at the center of the parking and transportation study for the plan to clear two whole blocks of Albany's Park South neighborhood near Albany Med, one of the most interesting projects in the Capital Region.

The study -- from Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates, a consultancy hired by the city -- looks at the projected demand for parking created by the residential/medical/retail project, and the number of spaces that would be available after completion. And it concludes that the current proposal exceeds the number of necessary spaces as figured under industry guidelines. The report figures that peak parking demand on the site would fall short of capacity by about 120 spaces.

That more-than-enough finding might not be notable if not for the attention the project has caught for the size of its parking garage, which developers reduced to about 816 spots after getting feedback. The consultancy's report doesn't frame the finding as a prompt for an even smaller garage, rather it's "a great opportunity to accommodate the parking for other future uses at this site."

But the report does focus some attention on details related to the parking garage, with an eye toward lessening the impact on appearance and pedestrian safety.

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Two new options for Park South

park south parking garage plan comparison

A visual comparison of the two new options against the previous option. (Don't squint, here's a bigger version.)

The evolution of the plan for the $110 million redevelopment of two whole blocks in Albany's Park South Neighborhood -- and the big parking garage that's prompted so much conversation -- continued Friday with two new options presented to the Common Council committee examining the plan.

New renderings, comments, and a few thoughts post jump...

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Six not-boring parking garages

park south parking garage rendering 2013 Robin

Probably not as creative as it could be.

There's been a lot of focus recently on the proposed parking garage for the Park South redevelopment in Albany. Much of the talk has been about the fact that the garage is, well, enormous relative to structures around it, prompting concerns that it's out of scale. Also: The thing just kind of looks boring.

So we thought we'd look around for not-boring parking garages. Many of the designs we found would be impractical for Park South -- because of setting, cost, or whatever -- but we thought it'd be interesting to see a wide variety of approaches to the problem of making a parking garage that's useful, appropriate to its surroundings, and visually appealing.

Here are six examples from other cities that caught our eye...

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A bit more about the Park South redevelopment and that big parking garage

park south parking garage rendering 2013 Robin

A rendering of the proposed parking garage and adjacent residential units, from Robin Street.

Some follow up on the Park South redevelopment in Albany, and the rather large parking garage that's raised a few eyebrows...

The city planning board gave the three amendments to the plan -- taller buildings along New Scotland, more residential units, the siting of the parking garage -- its "qualified" approval last week. The qualified part of that: the planning board noted the approval was "subject to further review of the elevations for the parking structure" (link added).

Also: The city's planning staff issued a memo on the parking garage, which highlights many of the concerns that have been raised about the size of the garage and how it relates to the other buildings around it. A clip:

The height of the parking structure should ideally not exceed that of the liner buildings proposed to buffer its presence on adjacent residential streets. The distribution of residential, office and commercial could be redesigned to allow for appropriately-sized liner buildings and/or below-grade levels could be incorporated into the design. In the event that any portions of the garage fa├žade is visible beyond the buildings or from the street, it must be treated appropriately so as to not visibly detract from the surrounding areas.

The full memo is after the jump. It addresses not only the garage itself, but also the whole parking picture for this part of the project. The memo was flagged on Twitter this week by Common Council member Leah Golby, who's part of the council's ad hoc committee reviewing the amendments to the project.

The parking issue is shaping up to be the focal point of the debate over the amendments to this project, which aims to clear two whole blocks of the Park South neighborhood for new retail, office, and residential development. The companies involved with the development -- Columbia Development and Tri-City Rentals -- have asserted that without the parking spaces provided by the proposed garage, the project is not feasible.

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A big topic for the Park South redevelopment: parking

The targeted start date for the $110 million redevelopment of two whole blocks in Albany's Park South neighborhood is fast approaching, so we stopped into a couple of public meetings Wednesday night to get a feel for how things are coming along. And -- surprise -- a lot of the discussion centered on parking. More on that in a second.

But first, check out the 3-D "fly around" of the latest proposed design of the development. It's embedded above, and there are a few screengrabs after the jump. The fly around really gives a better sense of the scale of this project than the flat renderings.

So, the thing that immediately jumped out for us: the parking garage. It's... big. The latest proposal is for a garage with 855 spaces. It would be the tallest structure in the development.

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Observations on the Albany parking permit system so far?

albany parking permit system sign

Justin emails with an observation about Albany's residential parking permit system:

As a resident of Zone A [Center Square] I was very pleased to see how there were always a few spots available on our block when the parking permit program first went into effect. However, now there never are but often there are 10-15 "Visitors" on the block. Who knew we were so popular?
I've begun monitoring the permits and notice repeat offenders. Some have been "visiting" for several weeks now.

Justin notes that the city has asked for people to report complaints and instances of permit abuse. But he says he finds that frustrating because he doesn't think enforcement is adequately monitoring the situation.

While I think it is ridiculous that we are paying people to enforce this and are being asked to volunteer to make it work, it seems like our only option. ... Because right now the parking permit system essentially is a $25 tax on anyone who lives in the neighborhood who doesn't want to get towed. There still are no spots available due the visitor tag abuse.

Justin followed up this past Monday morning: "There are no available spots on my block right now. However, there are 14 Visitors permits. Several of the same people who were 'visiting' on Friday but were gone for the weekend and are now back 'visiting'."

It's been about three months since the parking permit system took effect. Any new system is bound to have quirks, bugs, problems -- that's just the nature of new things.

So if you live in neighborhoods covered by the system -- or frequent them because of work or whatever -- what's your take on how it's working so far? And if you've noticed problems, how would you fix them?*

* Honorary bonus points for constructive ideas.

Earlier on AOA: Maps of the Albany parking permit system's three zones

More (temporary) parking spaces for downtown Albany state employees

Thumbnail image for empire state plaza agency buildings from elm streetThe state Office of General Services announced that it will be making available 1,000 parking spots to state employees in downtown Albany as part of a temporary program. From the press release:

This Temporary Parking Assistance Initiative will allocate these spaces based on state service to PEF and CSEA members who presently do not have spaces in state lots.
OGS initiated this one-time, single purpose allocation for downtown state parking after consultation with PEF and CSEA to provide timely relief to state employees who may be impacted by the City of Albany's Residential Parking Permit System.

Update: OGS spokesperson Heather Groll tells us the spaces are in most of the downtown state operated lots.

The agency has posted a form for members of CSEA and PEF who'd like to apply for spots (they'll be assigned by state seniority). The deadline is February 13.

OGS says it's aiming to complete a "comprehensive restructuring of the state's downtown Albany parking system" by sometime this spring. The state has been working on this restructuring since at least fall. It was prompted in part by the "re-stacking" of state office space, which an OGS spokesperson told us last September had moved about 2,000 state employees to downtown Albany. (We had emailed OGS back then for an answer to a reader question about how many parking spaces the state has for downtown employees -- it was still being sorted out as part of the parking restructuring.)

Last September irisira posted a very good comment about the state of downtown state employee parking.

It's been about two weeks since the Albany residential parking permit system started. We're curious about how things have shaken out so far state employees around the ESP. Longer walks? More bus riding? Complete mayhem?

Albany parking permit system starting soon

albany parking permit system sign

The signs have been up for a while -- covered and uncovered.

Albany's residential parking permit system takes effect January 15 (Tuesday) -- and today the Albany Police Department distributed official maps of the street segments covered by the system. The maps are post jump -- they'll will be familiar if you've been following the issue.

The parking permit system will be in effect from 8 am-6 pm Monday through Friday (holidays excluded). People without permits will still be allowed to park in any spot -- but there will be a two hour time limit. Violations of the system are a $50 ticket with a $15 surcharge.

Alternate side parking, snow emergencies, and other similar regulations trump the permit system.

Here's information on how to get a permit (doc). They're $25. Permits are also available for non-resident business owners ($25, limit 3) and visitors ($10, one per household in the covered zones).

The city is taking complaints related to system via an online form. More info at the city's website (scroll down).

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Well, it is really hard to find parking by the ESP

corning tower the egg esp looking upThe state Inspector General's Office announced today that a state Department of Health employee has been arrested for allegedly scoring a handicapped parking pass for the Empire State Plaza by using a forged doctor's note.

From the press release:

The Inspector General's investigation determined that in May of 2011, Witt obtained special parking privileges at his work location at Empire State Plaza based on a forged doctor's note. In addition, Defendant admitted that on three separate occasions in January and February of 2012, he submitted certified time records indicating that he had worked full days when he had not reported to work at all.
"New Yorkers have every right to expect that state employees will comport themselves with the highest degree of honesty and integrity," said Acting Inspector General [Catherine Leahy] Scott. "Fraudulently obtaining handicapped parking not only is unlawful, but potentially inhibits the rights of New Yorkers with disabilities in need of accessible parking. Further, any fraudulent abuse of time and attendance records undermines public trust. Such conduct is not tolerable."

The IG's office says Witt has been charged with four felony counts -- and faces up to four years in prison if convicted.

Full release after the jump.

By the way: Does anyone know how long the waiting list is now for a parking spot at the ESP?

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Does the city owe you a parking spot?

cars parked along new scotland curb

Right? Privilege? Bonus?

While reading the comments about the Albany parking permit system, many of them very critical, we got to wondering about whether a parking spot is some sort of right -- or something more along the lines of a privilege or bonus.

So, of course, we floated the question on Twitter. There were some interesting responses -- both practical and philosophical...

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Albany parking permit zones and streets

The Albany Common Council approved the final slate of streets for the new residential parking permit system Monday night. A map of the three zones is above. After the jump: a list of the designated streets with individual zone maps -- along with a copy of the resolution designating them.

Not every parking space in the designated areas will be subject to the permit system. But there many be some whole blocks designated within the zones, according to councilman Richard Conti, who headed up the design of the system. The state law allowing the system limits it to no more than 2,750 spots.

The target start date for the permit system is October 1. The spaces will be subject to permit parking from 8 am-6 pm on weekdays -- though two-hour parking will be allowed for people without permits. The permits will cost $25, and permit holders will get guest passes.

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Cranky parking moment of the day

parking middle of state street albany

Maybe the city should just meter those spots.

Today's moment of grumpy-old-man-style parking crankiness: It's remarkable that people can park right in the middle of State Street in downtown Albany for a length of time without a getting a ticket.

It's not like they're hard to miss. They're right in the middle of the street.

That is all.

Public hearing for the proposed Albany parking permit system tonight

Albany Permit Parking Map proposed cropped

An overview map of the proposed coverage area. Much bigger versions are the after the jump.

The public hearing for the proposed Albany residential parking permit system is tonight (Monday) at 7 pm at city hall. The public hearing is one of the last steps before the system could potentially be passed and moved toward implementation.

We suspect there will be plenty of suggestions/questions/concerns about the system, particularly about which spots will be subject to the permits. Richard Conti, the common councilman heading up the project, touched on that topic in his ward newsletter last week:

... the street designations on the zone maps are preliminary subject to revision after the public hearing. I've discussed the inclusion or non-inclusion of streets at neighborhood meetings during the month of October, and have received other communications, and am aware of some of the concerns regarding preliminary street designations. Under the state authorizing legislation, we are limited to the designations of 2,750 spaces spread across three zones. After the current proposed map was finalized we discovered additional spaces that had not been allocated. So we have a margin to play with to address concerns. ...
Resolving the street designations is the major issue that needs to be resolved; once that is completed the remaining pieces should fall into place.

As proposed, the system would cover three zones around the Empire State Plaza:
+ Zone A - 1946 spaces in Center Square/Hudson-Park/Washington Park/parts of Park South,
+ Zone B - 443 spaces in the Mansion neighborhood
+ Zone C - 163 spaces in Arbor Hill around the Ten Broeck Triangle

Details and maps of these proposed zones are available from the city's website -- and we've also posted them after the jump here for easy scanning.

The state law giving the city the right set up the system allows for 2,750 spaces within a 3/4 mile radius of the ESP. Once implemented, the system will run for two years and then be up for review.

Car sharing: We hear that car sharing advocates will also be at the hearing tonight pushing their case. In the past, advocates have touted sharing as another way of addressing the parking problem in congested neighborhoods.

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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.)

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Pay and display in Albany

albany parking pay and display meter

In a different context, "pay and display" could mean something completely different.

Albany has new parking meters downtown. Or, at least, it will have new parking meters. Right now, it hast just one, on State Street near Pearl -- and that's it above.

Unlike the old meters, the "pay and display" meter covers multiple spots. You pay for the time you want to park, print out a ticket, and then place it on your dashboard on the passenger side so parking enforcement can see it.

A few other bits about these new meters...

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What's up with the Albany parking permit system?

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

It's been just about a year since the state legislature passed a bill allowing the city of Albany to set up a residential parking permit system near the Empire State Plaza. So, where's all that at now?

Albany Common Councilman Richard Conti is heading up the task force in charge of developing the system. We had a chance to talk with him last week about how the system is potentially shaping up...

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Oh, yes, you did park there

Mini in the sketchy spot.jpg

The driveway is so far behind the car, it's not in the picture.

A few weeks ago, on a cold, rainy night, the AOA-mobile was parked in what has come to be known around the downtown office as "the sketchy spot": two feet away from a driveway (OK), but in front of a sign that says "No Parking, Driveway" (not OK). The sign has an arrow pointing to the aforementioned driveway (that is, we remind you, two feet away).

Parking there is kind of ticket Russian roulette -- usually you won't get tagged, but do you really want to take that chance? Still, you're not causing a hazard or problem for anyone, or being a jerk to your neighbors. Let's just say that on this particular cold and rainy night, it was worth the gamble.

And this time we lost. And we paid the ticket. But we decided to go to the Parking Violations Bureau to inquire about the sign and try to clear up the sketchiness surrounding the sketchy space.

And we learned something we though you might want to know. Albany parking tickets now come with photographic proof.

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Perhaps not the spot we'd have picked

car parked on snowbank

Hey, it's between the yellow lines.

We spotted this parking job at Crossgates Commons the other night and it made us a laugh a bit.

As Cory and Angelos pointed out on Twitter, bonus points for the donut spare on the back wheel.

Albany snow emergency info

noreaster radar nws 2011-01-12

The Nor'easter in question, as of 10:18 am Wednesday.

Update: The snow emergency is ending early "due to the response and cooperation of the residents of the City of Albany." It's officially canceled at 8 am Friday (January 14).
____

The City of Albany has declared a snow emergency, starting tonight (Wednesday) at 8 pm with parking on the EVEN side of the street. Parking flips to the odd side tomorrow (Thursday) at 8 pm.

As part of the snow emergency, the city also opens up additional parking -- that list is after the jump.

For Albany snow emergency updates The snow emergency hotline is 476-SNOW (7669). You can also now get notifications about snow emergencies in the city via text and email (be sure to customize the alerts, otherwise you'll get a bunch of them).

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Should we punch the ticket for more expensive parking?

troy pay and display parking meterPeople get very passionate about parking and seemingly all things parking-related: paying for it, permits, meters, shoveling. And these conversations almost always revolve around whether there's enough parking -- and whether it's cheap enough.

Well, in a NYT column this weekend economist Tyler Cowen pushes the case that in most places parking should be... more expensive:

Is this a serious economic issue? In fact, it's a classic tale of how subsidies, use restrictions, and price controls can steer an economy in wrong directions. Car owners may not want to hear this, but we have way too much free parking.
Higher charges for parking spaces would limit our trips by car. That would cut emissions, alleviate congestion and, as a side effect, improve land use.

Cowen goes on to talk about the work of Donald Shoup, a UCLA urban planning professor and the author of The High Cost of Free Parking. He continues the discussion on his excellent blog -- and responds to criticism.

Also via Cowen: San Francisco is testing parking meters that change the price based on current supply and demand.

By the way: Troy is considering residential parking permits for three of its neighborhoods. [TU]

Earlier on AOA:
+ Assembly passes Albany residential parking permits bill
+ Meters parked in Troy
+ The ethics of the shoveled parking spot
+ Ask AOA: Parking in Center Square
+ How the rest of us are ticketed

photo: Kim M

The car sharing conversation

zipcar portlandIt sounds like Albany common councilwoman Leah Golby is trying to push things forward on car sharing. From an email she sent out on Friday (links added):

If you aren't sure what car sharing is -- the best way to describe it is: short-term car rental. If you've traveled to larger cities, you've likely seen ZipCar -- that's the large for-profit car sharing company. Car sharing is access to a car without the hassles of car ownership. Car sharing helps to reduce gas emissions, promotes use of public transit and can save you $ by (for example) down-sizing from a two-car household to a 1-car household. ...
I happen to be more in favor of locally-controlled non-profit car sharing for the reasons that an Austin group described on the attached.
Momentum for any car sharing company would need to work collaboratively with all of the colleges/ universities leaders from our neighborhoods with parking issues (Center Square/ Hudson Park and Pine Hills), the city's Planning Department and CDTA/ CDTC.

Golby is hoping to prompt discussion via a Twitter hashtag: #ImagineAlbanyCarShare.

Of course, something like this wouldn't have to be limited just to Albany -- there are probably a handful of neighborhoods/areas/centers in the Capital Region that might benefit from car sharing.

Updated July 29, 2010 to include link to the pdf.

Earlier on AOA:
+ Report: car sharing coming to the Capital Region. Sort of.
+ Assembly passes Albany residential parking permits bill
+ From 2008: Not-yet-councilwoman Leah Golby talked about living in the Capital Region without a car

photo: Flickr user Jason Rodriguez

Assembly passes Albany residential parking permits bill


The approximate area covered by the 3/4 mile radius. Not every spot will be subject to the permits.

The state Assembly has passed the bill that would allow the City of Albany to run a trial residential parking permit program around the Empire State Plaza. From Albany Common Councilman Richard Conti's Facebook status last night:

Albany Permit Parking Bill just passed the Assembly, 80-45! Thanks to Assemblymembers McEneny and Canestrari for their efforts on moving this forward ... now it moves to Governor Paterson for approval.

The bill passed in the state Senate last week.

Among the bill's provisions:
+ The City of Albany would be allowed to "pilot a residential parking permit system with a two year sunset" within a 3/4 mile radius of the ESP.
+ No more than 2,750 spaces would be made available by permit in the permitted area. (The bill figures there are about 9000 spaces total in the affected area.)
+ Permit parking would not be allowed on streets where adjacent properties are zoned for "commercial, office and/or retail use."
+ At least 20 percent of the spaces in the permit would be available for non-residents to use for at least 90 minutes at a time.

(Thanks, Mike and others!)

Update: From a PEF press release:

The New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF) is disappointed state lawmakers have passed the Albany Permit Parking Plan, pandering to a small group of residents while shunning the needs of the general public.

The union is calling for Paterson to veto the legislation.

Earlier on AOA: Is the brake coming off residential parking permits near the ESP in Albany?

Is the brake coming off residential parking permits near the ESP in Albany?


Not every street within the proposed area would be subject to residential parking permits

Via Bob Conner comes word that a bill allowing residential parking permits near the Empire State Plaza is moving through the legislature again.

The bill passed in the Assembly a year ago, but died in the state Senate. Bob reports that Neil Breslin says it looks like there will be enough votes to pass it this time around in the Senate.

Among the bill's provisions:
+ The City of Albany would be allowed to "pilot a residential parking permit system with a two year sunset" within a 3/4 mile radius of the ESP.
+ No more than 2,750 spaces would be allowed in the permitted area.
+ Permit parking would not be allowed on streets where adjacent properties are zoned "commercial, office [and]/or retail use."

(The full text of the bill's provisions is after the jump.)

One possible hitch: the Assembly version of the bill differs from the Senate version in the size of the allowed area for permits -- 3/4 mile vs. 1 mile. Bob reports that CSEA dropped its opposition to the bill because of the reduced radius. Update: Albany common councilman Richard Conti stopped by in the comments to note the Senate bill is identical to the Assembly bill and includes the 3/4 mile radius (it appears the Open Senate entry for the bill hasn't been completely updated, yet).

Jerry Jennings told AOA last October that he wants permit parking -- and would pursue it if the legislature allowed it.

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Road closures and parking restrictions around Washington Park this weekend


The roads that will be closed for part of Saturday | View in a larger map

There are a bunch of parking restrictions and road closures in/around Washington Park this weekend because of the Freihofer's Run for Women.

The full list is after the jump.

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Meters parked in Troy

troy pay and display parking meterTroy's new parking meters arrived this week. Kim M snapped this photo of the new boxes (click on the photo for a bigger version).

The meters are "pay and display" -- so, you park, walk over to the box, pay for time and then display the receipt on the dash of your car. It's 25 cents for 15 minutes.

Five locations are slated to get the meters:

  • 8th Street between Sage and College Avenues (near EMPAC - map)
  • the Hedley District along River Street (map)
  • the areas around the Uncle Sam (map) and Fifth Avenue (map) garages
  • the Fifth Avenue lot

The city has said the meters will cover about 400 spots. Last year the city comptroller estimated the meters could bring in about $500k in revenue per year.

[via a comment by bemused, who's not a fan]

"Pay and display" parking coming to Troy

cale pay display parking meterTroy announced today that parking meters will soon be installed at 400 spots downtown. Here are the stretches that will be metered:

  • 8th Street between Sage and College Avenues (near EMPAC - map)
  • the Hedley District along River Street (map)
  • the areas around the Uncle Sam (map) and Fifth Avenue (map) garages
  • the Fifth Avenue lot

The intersection at 15th St & Sage Ave is already metered, according to spokesman Jeff Piro.

The meters will be the "pay and display" type -- so, you park, walk over to the box, pay for time and then display the receipt on the dash of your car. The city says technicians from the company supplying the meters will start installing poles Friday. The meters are expected to be up and running "no later than mid-May."

The meters will charge 25 cents for 15 minutes, according to Pirro. The city council voted to bond $500k for the meters last year. At the time, the city comptroller estimated they could bring in about $500k/year. [Troy Record]

Of the revenue from the meters, Harry Tutunjian said in a release: "we can reinvest some of this money back into downtown through infrastructure improvements and promoting economic development."

Saratoga Springs recently rejected the idea of installing parking meters downtown because of complaints from business owners. [Saratogian]

After the jump, a quick map of the soon-to-be-metered areas.

photo: CALE Parking USA

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Not so smart

not so smart car

Wow.

Jennifer sent along this photo, which was taken yesterday in Washington Park. This would be a comically bad parking job just about anywhere, but near the always parking-deficient Center Square it might have caused an angry mob.

As Jennifer wrote in the email's subject line: "Smart Car, Stupid Driver."

Our first thought on seeing the photo was: "You could probably park another Smart Car in the space between the car and the curb." Not content to just speculate, we attempted to test this guess using the photo. The result is after the jump.

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Who got ghost tickets

bulls eye sticker smallIncluded in the state comptroller's report about the Albany ghost tickets are lists of people and organizations who received the no-fine parking tickets.

We've pulled the lists from the report and dropped them into sortable tables...

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State comptroller releases ghost ticket report

bulls eye sticker

One of the infamous bulls-eye stickers.

Update: We pulled the lists of people who received ghost tickets from the report.

The state comptroller's office has posted its report on the Albany ghost ticket investigation.

Here are a few highlights (if that's the word)...

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Ask AOA: Parking in Center Square

smart cars

A necessary Center Square parking accessory?

Tweeted @daveyrich yesterday: "@alloveralbany I just rented an apartment in center square. How bad is parking, really? Am I gonna need to sell my truck and get a car?"

We re-tweeted and a handful of people responded. Their thoughts -- and maybe yours -- after the jump.

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Alternate parking grace period in Albany

Alternate Parking.jpg*Updated at 5:32

Sound the trumpets, the grace period for alternate side parking in Albany is now official.

No more sitting in your car and waiting for the exact moment to move to the other side of the street so you don't get a ticket. No more synchronizing your watches to the parking attendant, watching and worrying about switching sides five minutes too early or ten minutes too late.

(We once watched as attendants ticketed folks on one side of a street for moving cars too early at 5:58, then circled the block and ticketed the cars on the other side for not moving in time at 6:02.)

The new rule took effect this past Saturday. It includes a 60 minute grace period -- a half-hour before the switchover time and 30 minutes after. (the exact language from from the law is after the jump)

FYI: It seems that information about the new grace period may not have made it around to everyone, yet. When we spoke with Parking Violations today the person who answered the phone hadn't heard about new ordinance. Keep that in mind if you get stuck with a ticket during the grace period.

*As Ed points out the grace period applies to streets where parking is only allowed on one side of the street at a time. On streets where parking is usually allowed on both sides that only have alternate parking twice a week the grace period does not apply.

Earlier on AOA:
+ Capital Region parking ticket fees
+ How the rest of us are ticketed

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Today's moment of summer

It's been fun catching a few quick glimpses over the last week as these baby birds grow. At some point that nest is probably going... (more)

Hey there: Nathan Hoffmann, war reenactor

Last weekend 20-year-old Nathan J. Hoffmann was in the middle of an army field hospital with wounded and bleeding soldiers near Rochester. Everyone was healed... (more)

Baconfest at City Beer Hall

Could be tasty: City Beer Hall's Baconfest is back this weekend. The annual celebration of porcine deliciousness starts this Saturday at 3pm. Stations will be... (more)

Where to celebrate National Tequila Day

So it turns out today is National Tequila Day. Yep, that's a thing. And Alisa wrote with a question: National Tequila Day is Thursday July... (more)

Cherry Plain State Park

This summer I'm visiting local state parks and getting the scoop on each one. Today I'm stopping at Cherry Plain State Park. I've also already... (more)

Recent Comments

Although it's outside the Capital Region and so naturally isn't included in the AOA listing, as ever I remind everyone that the Dutchess County Fair is the biggest of all NYS county fairs and worth the trip to Rhinebeck.

Hey there: Nathan Hoffmann, war reenactor

...has 1 comment, most recently from Eric Scheirer Stott

Where to celebrate National Tequila Day

...has 5 comments, most recently from Alisa

Cherry Plain State Park

...has 5 comments, most recently from ethan

Moules Frites at Brewery Ommegang

...has 3 comments, most recently from theshakes

Remembering Friday nights in Troy

...has 8 comments, most recently from BS