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February 19, 2008

Parking Problems and Possible Solutions

Parking has been an ongoing problem that is increasingly getting worse. When will the congestion of an increasing population affect the ability to park? The question is, how do we fix the problem before it gets out of hand?

1. Make it a requirement for all new buildings with residential housing ( at least 4 stories). Must provide a parking garage or parking lot for its residents. The ratio of provided parking spots to residents must be at least 1.5 to 1. Assuming that there is at east one car per household.

a. However this will create a new problem. Where do we put these parking garages? Preferably
underground. In a worst case scenario a municipal lot could be erected.

b. This will curb the rate of which Queens one family hosing is turned into "McMansions", as it will become more expensive to do so.

2. Instead of creating more spots, possibly taxing the landlord for the amount of spots that its residents take up. To even the balance and make parking more available, some parking meters in the area should be removed. The tax would be the equivalent to the income the city would have received if there were meters at those spots. If you were to calculate the actual income from a metered spot, it works out to $1,560 per spot. Perhaps that is a little high. A $300 to $600, tax per year per spot could make a world of difference. In turn to benefit the residents, they will receive permits to park in a designated area, close to their homes.

Where do we need additional parking? The Long Island Rail Road stops usually have " Park and Ride" commuters taking up many spots. This is evident in Northern Flushing at the Broadway station as well as the Murray Hill Station and the Bayside Station. Of course in most cases there is no room to build such a structure, certainly not in an area that the community boards would approve. The under utilized properties should be selected.

Where could a proposed All Day Muni-Parking complex go?

An example off the top of my head would be the currently vacant property in Flushing on Northern Boulevard not far from 162nd Street where there once was a Movie Theater and then a CVS if my memory serves me correctly. There is an existing good sized lot and if the entire property is utilized it would benefit not only the surrounding residents but also the businesses on and around Northern Boulevard. On Sundays, parishioners of St. Andrew Avelino would benefit from such a lot (free on Sundays).

The DOT have been cracking down on extended driveway openings. The question is, who does this help? Now we must considering that the car which was parked in the removed spot would be moved onto the street, therefore negating and chance that available parking would increase. This does give the neighborhood "parker" for lack of a better word, a slight chance that they could find a spot.

Everyone has a few cars on the block that take up 2 spots or is horrifically crooked or perhaps a "Long Island Park". Then maybe you would like this bumper sticker: I Park Like an Idiot.
But please do not actually go on a sticking rampage, but maybe leaving it under the windshield whipper would be comical. On a side note they really need to make bilingual ones as well.