Manhattan Transportation Group Proposes Idea To Eliminate Free Street Parking

Upper West Side Parking
Photo credit Billy K / Getty Images
By WCBS Newsradio 880

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Free parking spaces in Manhattan could soon be eliminated. 

The transportation committee of Community Board 7 in the Upper West Side recently passed a resolution saying the city should consider eliminating free street parking. 

"The situation we have now is completely unacceptable," Committee Chairman Howard Yaris said. "Something has to be done, it's only going to get worse."

One idea is to sell parking permits capable of surge pricing. New York is the only city in the nation that doesn't issue residential parking permits.

Upper West Side residents say eliminating free parking may be essential when congestion pricing in midtown takes hold, as more drivers might leave their cars north of the zone to avoid the toll.

Willie Ortiz, a doorman on the Upper West Side, drives in every day from the Bronx. "If they take that away from us it's gonna be a lot of problems for us," he said, adding that much of the curbside parking in the neighborhood is taken up by business owners.

For some uptown drivers, eliminating free street parking may mean paying for parking garages or getting rid of their vehicles for good.