Volume 19 • Issue 20 | Sept. 29 - Oct. 5, 2006

City asks how many government cars park Downtown?

By Josh Rogers

The late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan was fond of saying that no problem can be solved before it can be counted, and in that vein the city has just begun a $450,000 study to figure out just how many cars owned by police and other government workers are taking up Lower Manhattan parking spots.

The study, funded by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., will also quantify other parking problems south of Canal St. including the number of double-parked cars, vehicles blocking crosswalks and those parked in no standing zones.

Ted Timbers, a spokesperson for the city Dept. of Transportation, said the study is in response to long-time “complaints and concerns” of residents and businesses. “The first thing is to see what the problems are and how big they are, so we can come up with solutions,” Timbers said.

He said D.O.T. has a cap of 8,000 “business placards,” allowing city workers special parking privileges, but the N.Y.P.D. and F.D.N.Y. are exempt from the cap and these two departments issue their own placards outside the jurisdiction of Transportation.

In addition, the parking privileges of state and federal court personnel and other non-city government workers are not regulated by the city, so no one knows just how many cars are able to park for free in Lower Manhattan. The neighborhood is home to police headquarters, several court houses, and many city, state and federal agencies.

OVE ARUP and BA Engineers are expected to complete their final tallies for D.O.T. in the spring.


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