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Some rev their engines for parking permits

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Two state lawmakers from Brooklyn have drafted a bill that would allow the city to sell residential parking permits (RPP) to motorists with the revenue going to subway and bus improvements.

But the Bloomberg administration, which once favored RPP as a caveat to gain support for its congestion pricing plan, nixed the idea.

Assembly member Joan Millman and State Senator Daniel Squadron announced their proposal with many Downtown Brooklyn residents, who have long supported the idea, on the steps of Borough Hall. Under the plan, the permits would be issued only on residential streets while commercial streets would remain metered.

Fines levied through parking tickets on non−resident motorists that park in resident spaces will go to the city’s general fund.

At least 20 percent of the available parking spaces in a neighborhood that institutes RPP must go toward non−residents for short−term parking.

“We need sustainable sources of revenue like residential permit parking to help properly fund our mass transit system,” said Millman.

“Residential permit parking has seen success in several other cities, such as Washington, DC, Chicago, Boston and San Francisco. I hope the Mayor and City Council support this bill because it is good for the MTA and good for New York City,” she added.

Squadron spokesperson John Raskin said the fee structure for residential parking permits will be up to the city.

The bill also leaves the locations of the pay−to−park neighborhoods up to the city, said Raskin.

The move for RPP has wide support from many in the Downtown Brooklyn area and the bicycle advocacy organization Transportation Alternatives.

Conversely, critics say that such a program would in effect create gated communities in some parts of Brooklyn.

Meanwhile, the Bloomberg administration, which won the support of many civic groups on its failed congestion pricing plan including tolling the East River Bridges, after supporting RPP, now looks unfavorably upon the plan.

“Any residential permit parking program should be part of a larger congestion reduction strategy, such as what was proposed alongside congestion pricing,” said Department of Transportation spokesperson Seth Solomonow.

“Without such a plan, we don’t believe this bill will actually solve neighborhood parking problems,” he added.

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