Clinton Hill residents are outraged over a pilot program that eliminates residential daytime parking in neighborhoods across the city, reports the NY Daily News.
A section of Greene Avenue that had alternate-side-of-the-street parking for decades has been converted to a "loading zone" for commercial vehicles with no residential parking allowed between 7:00am and 7:00pm.
The Department of Transportation launched the "Residential Loading Zone Evaluation" program to curtail double parking by trucks unloading goods and taxis and for-hire vehicles unloading passengers.
The pilot, that launched two weeks ago with apparently little-to-no warning, has not only greatly reduced the number of parking spaces in the area, but also has left residents with boots on their cars and hefty ticket tow fees.
"I can look out my window every single day and evening and one or two cars are being towed away," said Clinton Hill homeowner Victor Holliday. "It's a shame. They're not aware of the signs."
Residents said the new parking signs were installed on July 17, and two days later, DOT began enacting the program. Cars in violation of the new regulations were first booted and their owners were smacked with a $185 boot removal fee, due to be paid within two hours. If they did not pay the fee in time, the cars were then towed to the Brooklyn Navy Yard where, after paying an additional $185 towing fee and a $60 fine, owners were able to get their cars back.
In response to complaints from the residents, Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo, who represents the 35th District including Clinton Hill and Fort Greene, urged her constituents to share their feedback and concerns about the pilot program with DOT's Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Keith Bray via email, by calling 311 or by submitting an online feedback form.
Cumbo also called on DOT to establish a grace period allowing residents to adjust to the new regulations and in the meanwhile to revoke all tickets, booting and tow charges so far incurred by constituents related to the program. She also requested that the department would clarify details about the residential loading zones and to shed light on the program's evaluation process.
The DOT is expected to evaluate the program for a year.