Monday, August 01, 2005

Sunday Parking: Expire Thinking

Most of the press covered the Speaker’s press conference urging the Mayor not to veto the Council’s Sunday parking meter moratorium. Only the Times, however, focused on one of the most important aspects of the issue: the impact of the bill on neighborhood merchants.

In his piece, Kareem Fahim cited the concerns of Jackson Heights businesses that the absence of metered parking would make it more difficult for customers to find parking and, therefore, sales would suffer. This is undoubtedly a real concern.

Unfortunately, the only real beef we’ve heard from the Transportation Commissioner is a concern for traffic flow and safety. Apparently, she’s worried that more people will park in bus stops and at hydrants. Come on, Commissioner. For decades there was no metered parking on Sunday and some how the City survived.

The crux of the complaint here should be that the City has, over the years, done precious little to provide adequate municipal parking for neighborhood shopping areas. This problem, highlighted by Kings County Boards of Trade leaders Lou Powsner and Howard Strauss, has caused considerable business leakage to city and suburban malls, almost as much a factor in hurting small business as city tax and regulatory policies.