Supply and demand hits NYC parking meters

January 28, 2008 3:42:47 PM PST
Supply and demand. It's an economic theory that might soon apply to New York City parking meters. There is a new proposal to charge more for parking when there are fewer spots available, and less when there are more spots, for one Upper West Side street.

Eyewitness News reporter Sandra Bookman has more.

Along busy Columbus Avenue on Manhattan's Upper West Side, parking definitely comes at a premium.

Because metered spaces are almost always filled, double parking is all-too-often the only alternative.

Now, the Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District has come up with a plan it says will increase the turnover at metered spaces and and decrease the congestion.

It's called "performance parking pricing" and would involve replacing the traditional, one-hour meters with multi-space Muni-Meters that could technologically regulate prices based on the demand for parking.

Barbar adler/ columbus avenue b.i.d. "You rarely see a parking space here, so we feel that we would be a perfect area to try out performance pricing here," Barbara Adler said.

Adler is the bid's executive director and has pitched the plan to the New York City Department of Transporation. She believes it will improve access to businesses along the busy street.

The owner of Wade Maxx Art Gallery and Frame shop says most of his customers are from the neighborhood, so he's taking a wait-and-see attitude.

"Im hoping that maybe more people will be able to come, but I'm not sure how it would affect my customers in any way," Wade Maxx said.

The prospect of pricier curbside parking doesn't seem to bother drivers tired of having to circle or double park.

male driver "Anthing that will help speed things up, I'm with it," one driver said.

The DOT is evaluating the proposal and reportedly could make the meter change as early as this summer.