New York backs parking permits as parking assault trial wraps up
Parking would become easier for residents of some New York City neighborhoods under a measure recently endorsed by city officials to offer "residential permits" for people living in some parking-deprived areas. But the proposed legislation faces an uphill battle among state lawmakers.
The New York City Council voted 40-8 on Thursday in favor of the idea, which stems from worries in two neighborhoods housing new sports stadiums. Residents in those districts say that people attending events at the venues will eat up curb parking and that locals should have some means of reserving space for themselves.
"We want people who live in local communities to be allowed to park somewhere near their homes," said the chairman of the City Council's transportation committee, James Vacca.
New York's parking woes were underscored earlier this week in the trial of Oscar Fuller, who was charged with the brutal assault on a young woman that left her comatose for several days and brain-damaged. Closing arguments in the trial were scheduled Friday.
Fuller is accused of assaulting Lana Rosas in February when she tried to save a parking space for a friend by standing in it as Fuller was trying to park his own car there.
Rosas still must wear a protective helmet on her head to protect her injured skull, which underwent major surgery after the attack to relieve brain swelling.
The idea of selling residential parking permits to locals has been tossed around for years in New York, but faces a number of obstacles. Opponents say it would only shift parking problems from neighborhoods with permits to those not included in the permit system.
Also, some skeptics, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have said merchants oppose the plan because they like the regular turnover created by not having permits, which requires people to regularly move their vehicles or circle the block endlessly in search of parking.
The latest vote was the result of state legislation proposed by a Brooklyn senator, Daniel Squadron, whose district includes some of the city's most parking-hungry streets. Squadron's bill would set aside 80% of street parking in specific neighborhoods for local residents willing to buy a residential permit.
The bill does not specify how much the permits would cost.
-- Tina Susman in New York
Photo: An example of why parking is such a problem in New York City. Credit: Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times