COVID-19 saw a boost to micro-mobility and to biking in cities and urban areas in particular. Those numbers continue to climb, at least in New York City, where more and more residents, visitors, and commuters are embracing two-wheeled transportation through the city.
“Cyclist counts on East River bridges climbed to an average of 25,431 per day in June, 11.4 percent higher than June 2020, which was already well ahead of pre-pandemic 2019 numbers, according to the Department of Transportation,” reported the New York Post this weekend.
The city is planning to add more bike trails and lanes in the future, as micro-mobility continues its increase in popularity. Read the whole story here.
Bike shops around the world struggled to keep up with demand when COVID-19 pushed people out of transit and shared rides. Now, New Yorkers are demanding more city bike parking, saying they’ve adopted the new-to-them transportation mode and have nowhere to put their wheels.
“For every bike rack in NYC, there are more than 100 free parking spaces for cars. The lack of bike parking is one of the top reasons New Yorkers cite for not biking or biking infrequently,” says an Upper West Side news site. A city council member told the site he once had to put his bike vertically in a friend’s bathtub while visiting. He says the city owns many more bike racks than are installed, and that new housing developments should include bike spaces.
Read the whole story here.
The New York City Council is considering allowing citizens to report parking violations and collect part of the ensuing fines. Fines would increase from $115 to $175 and citizens who used an online portal to report violations would receive 25 percent of that.
The bill’s sponsors say they hope it will help increase safety around fire hydrants, bike lanes, crosswalks, and other places where illegally parked vehicles impede micro-mobility or walking. If it passes the city department of transportation will be responsible for developing the portal and writing rules around its use.
Read the whole story here. Read the city bill here.
New York City, long a holdout against e-bikes and e-scooters, this week legalized the mobility devices in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Delivery workers using the motorized devices have, until now, faced fines and having their rides confiscated, but lawmakers said e-bikes and scooters will help those people keep working at a time when they’re needed.
Helmets are required for e-scooter riders and anyone using a class-3 e-bike, which can go up to 25 miles per hour. New York Police will no longer enforce any rules prohibiting the vehicles, and local jurisdictions were given leeway to craft their own supplemental policies about their use. Read the whole story here.
In an era of tightening parking maximums for development and great calls for transit-oriented development and walkable cities, private parking has gone upscale in New York City and developers and real estate agents say it’s in hot demand at record-high prices.
The New York Times this weekend ran a story about upscale parking in New York apartment and condo buildings.
“With their herringbone-pattern ceilings, app-based vehicle-retrieval systems and furnished waiting rooms, garages currently being constructed in residential developments seem designed to take the lowly parking spot to new heights,” the article says.
“Even more significant may be the fact that the facilities are often private, aimed at those who can fork over hundreds of thousands of dollars for parking rights. No day-trippers in search of space by the hour need apply.”
Real estate agents quoted in the story say on-site parking is a wanted amenity among upscale buyers and that spaces, some of which are priced as high as $800,000, are marketable features that help new developments stand out.
“Efforts to discourage driving by making it tougher to park may not have had the desired effect. Indeed, cars are on the rise, or at least holding their own,” the story says. Read it here.
By Tim Maloney
We started a conversation yesterday about how a plan to implement congestion pricing will affect parking in Manhattan. Continuing those thoughts:
While New York City is working to improve the subway system, many people who value flexibility and control will still find driving to be their best option. Some commuters will still pay the toll to enter the CBD without hesitation; let’s call them the Business Elites. These are the professionals who value their time over money. On the other side of the coin, drivers who value money over time are likely to park at a facility along the toll border and take an alternative mode of transportation for the last mile; these are your Savvy Commuters. Savvy Commuters may elect to supplement their drive-and-park with anything from public transit to walking or even ride-share if they are pressed for time.
Business Elites and Savvy Commuters both prioritize driving over the crowded subway system of New York City. During public transit upgrades, both drivers will prefer to drive due to construction delays and overcrowding. Once construction on the subway system is complete, the Savvy Commuters are expected to leave their cars at home and opt to take public transportation. By the time construction is finished, parking will have already adapted to the new demand.
The future of parking for New York City will adapt to demand. The city is already seeing the power that legislature has on parking, but parking is poised to be the solution to NYC’s congestion problem. With spots opening up within the CBD, so opens the opportunity for fleet and ride-share parking. Urban residents need to get where they are going, and car-share isn’t going anywhere. Once fleet vehicles are off the road and parked at a facility, the roads open up to be a pedestrian paradise.
New York City’s Traffic Mobility Act aims to decrease the number of cars entering Manhattan’s CBD, increase funding for public transportation and pedestrian safety, and decrease parking demand temporarily. Fewer cars parking downtown will create an opportunity for parking operators to generate revenue from new urban mobility models fleets, ride-share, and eventually autonomous vehicles to finally have a reliable place to park. As long as there are cars on the ground, there will be a need for a place to park. Parking is the solution to city congestion and the foundation for the fast-paced urban mobility ecosystem.
Tim Maloney is director of strategic partnerships with SpotHero.
By Tim Maloney
Manhattan is overflowing with more than 50 percent of trips in the central business district (CBD) made by motor vehicles, and the average speed for traffic has dropped to 7.1 mph (Mobility Report, 2018). The swollen arteries of the city cause a heart-stopping number of problems for pedestrians and cars. Left unchecked, the congestion crisis will get worse, and the solution needs to be right around the corner.
One solution proposed by the mayor’s Congestion Action Plan was to create a charge during peak travel times into the CBD of New York City. Although this is the first piece of legislation in the U.S. that taxes those who drive in congested areas, New York is hoping it will help raise money for new bike lanes, public transit, and other infrastructure improvements under the Traffic Mobility Act (TMA). Driving will never go away, but the driver will change. This new legislature will help create a framework that allows urban residents in New York to choose their mobility option from a diverse portfolio of options.
While the new congestion pricing legislature may ding parking revenue in the CBD, it will grow revenue on the border of the toll and will force long-term, off-street parking change in the CBD as parking demand evolves.
Parking demand will not drop substantially inside the CBD because everything needs a place to park. There are millions of people working between 60th Street and Battery Park. According to blogger Todd Schneider, NYC sees just more than 700,000 ride-share trips a day–that is a lot of parking opportunity. While drivers wait for their phones to buzz with the next rider destinations, during quick food dashes, and for restroom breaks, they will need a place to park. It is expected that facilities right outside the congestion toll line will see an increase in parking because drivers will be looking for solutions to the last mile of their commutes.
What’s next for us? We’ll talk about that tomorrow.
Tim Maloney is director of strategic partnerships with SpotHero.
By Jason M. Jones
During the last year, the New York State Parking Association (NYSPA) has been working on a rebranding campaign, complete with a new website, enhanced social media pages, and a name change. As the parking industry continues to evolve, we needed to be sure we were not the last coin-operated meter left standing. We conducted surveys, made phone calls, reached out through emails, and discussed in-person with association members to determine the best path to take. We also reached out to founding members, past presidents, and other associations that recently transitioned away from just having parking in their names and added either transportation or mobility. These decisions cannot be made in isolation and any association is only as strong as it members and the research they conduct.
Based on our thorough outreach and an overwhelming association member approval vote, we have become the New York State Parking & Transportation Association (NYSPTA). We are very excited to begin this new chapter after 25+ years as NYSPA and look forward to another 25 years. We have many events planned in 2019 including our Summer Retreat on June 25 in Syracuse and our annual conference/expo in historic Saratoga Springs, October 9-11.
Please visit our new website at nysparkingandtransportation.com or visit us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
Jason M. Jones is director, parking & mass transit services at the University of Albany, and president of NYSPTA.
New York City, like many urban areas, is watching bus ridership numbers fall and buses themselves get slower. It’s a cycle: More transportation options mean people opt out of the bus for cars, which means more traffic, which means slower buses, which means more people opt out, and revenue drops right along with ridership. So the city is undertaking a concerted effort to get more people on buses and then get those buses moving faster again, and they’re taking an innovative first step to get there.
Transit officials are going out of their way to ask bus riders–and some who’ve stopped riding–for their ideas to improve the system. And they’re getting some great answers. Read the whole story here.