Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Public Meters Matter To The Parking Public

Believe it or not, the city is considering a plan to increase parking meter rates to as much as $15.00 an hour; all in an effort to reduce traffic. Metered parking in midtown now costs $2.00 an hour for cars and $9.00 an hour for trucks. Muni-Meters currently cost $2.00 an hour, $5.00 for two hours and $9.00 for three hours. Nevertheless, outside consultants and city planners are looking for still more. What a surprise!

A significantly higher parking rate would unfairly target moderate and lower income drivers. It’s one thing for private garages and parking lots to charge high fees. It’s the driver’s choice to park in these lots. However, it’s quite another thing for public parking meters to be setup with exorbitant rates. In so doing, they’ll create private parking spots for the rich by making these spots financially prohibitive to the general public of generally lesser means.

We know “Free Parking” is easier to find on a Monopoly board than in midtown Manhattan any day of the week. A reasonable meter fee is acceptable. With $15.00 meters on city sidewalks though, finding cars nearby valued under $10,000 will become a rarity … kind of like finding a parking spot now while circling around and around. We urge the Department of Transportation and other city officials to come up with a more creative plan to reduce traffic. Maybe we can reduce the fleet size of city vehicles as a start?

Transit Rate Rise Is No Pre-Christmas Surprise

While we’re happy that the basic $2.00 transit fare will not be raised, it’s unfortunate that rates for multiple-ride programs will increase. Though prices will increase for some, service will remain the same for all ... without any significant improvement in service. While transit-goer advocacy groups strongly oppose the measure, it’s unlikely to prevent the December 19th increase. It’s hard to win a battle against the combined forces of the MTA, Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Spitzer.

It’s hoped that the no-toll policy for Santa’s sled and reindeer will be maintained. But give it time. Political grinches are probably working on the legislation now to impose that kind of fee. With increased pressure every year on politicians to do away with Christmas altogether, it’s conceivable that they will look to increase city revenue by imposing a new "San-tax." Reindeer rider-ship need only drop by one to affect those who still hold the Christmas holiday deer … uhhh dear.

Queens Pet Happy To Be In A Hog Heaven Haven City

In St. Albans, a gentle one-year old, 200-pound porker by the name of Romeo occasionally strolls the neighborhood with members of the Cummings family. This pot-bellied pig is the family’s pet and apparently not a nuisance to the neighbors. While keeping a pig this size is in violation of various city animal and health codes, city officials don’t appear to be in any rush to evict this illegal. Who said it’s tough to find a porking spot in New York?

Public Toilets Parked In Madison Square

Twenty toilets in a silver-bullet shaped building were setup the other day in Madison Square Park. The general consensus of neighborhood residents was that these outhouses were unwelcome. The Department of Transportation is admittedly moving forward slowly with this project … unlike others where they speed to get things done? They should be in operation by year’s end. Mayor Bloomberg is expected to perform the ceremonial first flush when he returns from China. The name of the city attendant to perform the less glamorous first plunging is yet to be announced.