Nov. 6, 2017 By Tara Law
Finding a parking space might get a whole lot easier for residents who live near LaGuardia Airport if legislation calling for parking permits goes into effect.
State Senator Jose Peralta introduced a bill on Oct. 27 that would lead to the implementation of a one-year pilot program where residents who live within a two-mile radius of LaGuardia would be eligible to buy residential parking permits.
Most of the curbside spots in the zone would require drivers to possess a permit. The system would set aside 20 percent of the parking spaces in the area for the public, and streets zoned for commercial use would not be included in the program.
If the bill were to become law, the pilot program could go into effect as soon as 2019, and the parking permit system would be the first of its kind in New York City.
Peralta emphasizes that he intends to keep the cost of the parking permits “nominal,” and estimates that they would cost residents $35 to $50 a year. Participating residents would display stickers in their windshields.
Peralta said that bill is critical given all the construction taking place at the airport. Residents already compete for parking with travelers, commuters, and LaGuardia’s workforce.
“Finding a parking spot in New York can be an impossible task.,” Peralta said. “Residential parking permits have been implemented in many cities across the nation, and according to a poll, New Yorkers would be willing to pay a reasonable fee to find it easier and faster to find a parking space. I would, since sometimes it takes me 30 minutes or longer to locate a spot.”
The introduction of the permit system requires the passage of state law.
Past attempts to pass legislation that would make way for parking permits in the City have failed. For instance, an effort was made to introduce them in 2011 and 2012 when advocates wanted to provide permits around Yankee Stadium and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Those efforts were thwarted when State Sen. Martin Golden, a Republican from the 22nd District in Brooklyn, opposed it and was able to get his fellow party members to block it in the senate. Golden was concerned that the program would increase costs for residents and make it difficult for other people to find parking.
However, many New Yorkers would welcome such a program, according to Peralta.
Advocates for the program say that it would not only cut down on the amount of time it would take for residents to find parking but it would also reduce traffic congestion and pollution.
Peralta said that he hopes to find a sponsor in the State Assembly within the next few weeks. If all goes to plan, the bill would go up for a vote in the next legislative session beginning in January.
The results of the pilot program would be studied at the end of the 12-month period and its impact assessed. If the program is deemed successful, it could be made permanent, and even spread to other neighborhoods, Peralta said.