Parking Rules Change, Nothing Happens

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Parking Rules Change, Nothing Happens

Remember the article about suspending the street cleaning rules in Brooklyn for a couple of months this summer so signs could be changed. The locals feared that the lack of “churning” caused by forcing people to move their cars once a week would cause mayhem in the area.

Well, according to the surveys taken during the period, nothing happened. People still took 20 plus minutes cruising to find a space (a free space, I might add.) Streets weren’t covered with trash, “outsiders” didn’t come rushing in to claim permanent parking space. Life went on.

The reason, quite frankly, was that there was really no change. Parking was free and people didn’t change their habits. They cruised for free parking, adding to congestion in the area. Why should they change anything?

However, if parking were not free, people would look for alternative ways to handle their parking issues. Perhaps it would be economically reasonable for entrepreneurs to provide parking for a fee, less than the onstreet charges. People would seek out alternatives, rather than look for the “free” available space somewhere in the neighborhood.

Look for this to happen. My guess is that within the next year or so, “free” parking space in New York City will be a thing of the past. People will have to pay for parking everywhere. The money, however, will not go back into the neighborhoods to replace worn streets or attack graffiti, it will go into the general fund, never to be seen again.

If on street parking rates are set so that there is a space available, cruising stops. Street are cleared of drivers looking for parking, and much of the traffic problems are solved. Alternatives to on street parking would spring up. All would be right with the transportation world.

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John Van Horn

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