Parking has been a problem in many parts of New York at the best of times, and now it’s even worse. In Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx from August to October, the number of registered vehicles increased by 37%, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Due to the coronavirus, since September, outdoor restaurant tables have become permanent in the city. As a result, 10,000 parking spaces were lost, and space for cars, already meager, narrowed even more.
The debate over how to manage 6,000 miles of city streets is nothing new.
Car owners complain that they are being pushed out of the carriageway, specially designated for the movement of bicycles and buses. On the other hand, cyclist advocates are “against car culture.”
“When you lament the loss of a few parking spaces in your neighborhood, I certainly sympathize with you, but the city as a whole wins if street space is returned to its residents, and people are preferred over cars,” said Danny Harris, executive Director of Transportation Alternatives.
Scarcity breeds tension. Quarrels break out between motorists over parking. Drivers go for all sorts of tricks. One of the most common is to “stake out” a place for yourself by placing orange cones, which are used by road workers, right after you drive off. True, this is not a guarantee that someone will not throw these cones away and will not enter the illegally reserved area. The situation drives drivers to white heat. Noreen O’Donnell of Brooklyn told a New York Times reporter that after returning home late at night, she circled her neighborhood for an hour before pulling her car into the parking lot. Another Brooklynman, discussing the parking problem with a journalist, grimly remarked: “There will be wars.”