2007-06-15 / Editorial/Opinion

OK For Manhattan, But Not For Rockaway

For years, we have argued that Rockaway residents should have "Resident- Only" parking stickers that would allow them to park nearby their homes, particularly during the summer months, when parking is at a premium. City officials have told us time and time again that it was not possible to design and operate a resident-only program in this city. Now, Mayor Mike Bloomberg, in his drive to charge outer-borough residents for driving into Manhattan, is exploring the possibility of creating resident-only parking permits to help neighborhoods that would be flooded by drivers trying to avoid the fees he proposed for entering parts of that borough. Because drivers will be charged for driving south of 86 Street, for example, neighborhoods north of that border will see parking stock diminish quickly during the day. City officials acknowledged that motorists could be charged an annual fee to acquire those resident-only parking permits and that the fee would probably be in line with those charged by other cities with similar programs. Chicago, for example, charges $25 annually, while Seattle charges $35. If resident-only parking is OK for Manhattan, why not for Rockaway? We propose that the present "No Parking, Weekends and Holidays" stricture in the west end be continued only on the beach blocks and only from June 15 to September 1. Parking on all the other blocks would become "Resident Parking Only" during that time period. Since most Rockaway residents have an EZ-Pass in their cars, police would only have to meter those passes in the window to know who is a resident and who is not. Charge Rockaway residents $50 or $100 a year to fund the program. Most locals would be glad to pay to avoid the musical cars game we now play, or to not have to park on their lawns to avoid a ticket.

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