NYC: Stop Subsidizing Cars & Pollution! Invest in Jobs & Green Initiatives Instead!

NYC: Stop Subsidizing Cars & Pollution! Invest in Jobs & Green Initiatives Instead!

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Gini Little started this petition to Mayor of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and

NYC is sitting on an untapped gold mine. Of the approximately 3 million curb parking spaces in the city, more than 95% are currently free to use. Estimates put the lost revenue potential of these spaces at upwards of $9 billion dollars per year! [1,7]. Compare that with a Congestion Pricing plan (which requires federal approval) and is only expected to bring in $1 billion annually [2].

Revenue sources are especially urgent as this year's budget cut funding to many important services including sanitation, composting, transit subsidies, bike lanes, and busways [3,4]. In addition, up to 22,000 municipal jobs may also be at risk. In order to address budget short-falls, NYC must consider options besides service cuts, job layoffs, or relying on the state & federal gov't.

It's absurd for NYC to be giving away high-demand public real estate to private vehicle storage [5]. This lost revenue is especially unfair to the majority of NYC residents who do NOT own cars [6]. This citizen majority would benefit greatly from increased investment in public transit and cycling infrastructure, all of which could be funded by curb parking revenue.

The negative impacts of free curb parking aren't limited to lost revenue. As parking expert Donald Shoup explains, “[NYC’s] free on-street parking gives a small, temporary benefit to a few lucky drivers, but it creates big problems for everyone else. Drivers hunting for an open spot will circle the block, wasting fuel, congesting traffic and polluting the air” [7].

Planning and policy experts note that paid curb parking schemes can take a variety of forms, including everything from hourly meters to long-term residential permits. Implementation can be flexible, adaptable, and phased. Long-term goals can include converting some spaces to better uses such as bike parking, loading zones, or rodent-proof trash corrals.

It's abundantly clear that curb parking revenue could be put to great use by helping to avoid municipal layoffs, restore service cuts, and improve the health of our people and planet. Let's envision and demand a better future that makes this a reality. Please tell New York City leaders to invest in jobs and green initiatives by ending the inequitable subsidy of free parking for private vehicles!

References:

[1] “Charging 50 cents per hour for street parking would raise $ 9 billion annually” - Jun 25, 2020, CheckPeds - https://twitter.com/Chekpeds/status/1276143527966265344

[2] N.Y. Subway, Facing a $16 Billion Deficit, Plans for Deep Cuts - July 21, 2020, NYT - https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/21/nyregion/mta-subway-financial-cuts.html

[3] How the City's Budget Cuts will Impact Sanitation Operations – July 7, 2020, NY1 - https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2020/07/07/dsny-sanitation-budget-cuts-what-to-expect

[4] “...a $65 million cut to a program that provided discounted MetroCards to low-income residents, a $3 million reduction to the Green Wave plan to add protected bike lanes and a $5.7 million cut to an initiative to increase bus speeds”. The coronavirus comeback no one wants: New York City traffic – July 17, 2020, Politico - https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/city-hall/story/2020/07/17/the-coronavirus-comeback-no-one-wants-new-york-city-traffic-1301905

[5] Transportation During Coronavirus in NYC - July 2020, NYU Rudin Center for Transportation https://wagner.nyu.edu/files/faculty/publications/Full%20Report.pdf

[6] “Share of households without cars = 55% New York City, 78% Manhattan” (Figure 4). Automobile Ownership in New York City - U.S. Bureau of the Census, American Community Survey, Public Use Microdata Sample, 2008–12.

[7] “... if only half of New York’s on-street spaces were metered and the average revenue per space were only $2,000 a year ($5.50 a day), the total revenue would amount to $3 billion a year”. A Fix for New York’s Parking Problems – June 18, 2018, Donald Shoup, NYT Opinion - https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/18/opinion/a-fix-for-new-yorks-parking-problems.html

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