Nov.28, 2017 By Tara Law
A local civic group is backing a state bill that calls for the establishment of a parking permit program in East Elmhurst, and is calling for it to be expanded to parts of Astoria.
Richard Khuzami, president of the Old Astoria Neighborhood Association, said his group supports a bill introduced by Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) in the State Senate last month that would lead to the implementation of a one-year pilot program where residents who live within a two-mile radius of LaGuardia Airport would be eligible to buy parking permits.
The permits, which cost residents about $50 per year, would allow residents to park on certain blocks overnight. This system would ensure residents a parking space near their homes and shorten their search for parking.
Khuzami said parking conditions in Old Astoria, the district he represents–which stretches from 21st Street to the East River and from Astoria Park South to 34th Avenue– are “very bad.” Members of his association frequently complain about parking in the neighborhood, he said.
“Something needs to be done,” Khuzami said. “We’re starting the conversation.”
The state legislature must pass a legislation– like Peralta’s–before a parking permit system can be introduced in New York City.
Although parking permit programs exist in many cities across the country, previous efforts to institute a parking program in New York City have collapsed.
A 2011 effort to bring a program to the neighborhoods near Yankee Stadium and Brooklyn’s Barclays Center failed.
At the time, the State Senate was controlled by the Republicans who opposed it, arguing that it wasn’t fair that residents should have to pay to park outside their own homes.
Khuzami believes people will get behind Peralta’s bill since they are fed up looking for parking. He said that he likes the idea that the program would be a pilot and would allow local officials to determine whether it works.
If the pilot program is approved, Khuzami said, the Association will be “all over it.”
The State Senate is likely to vote on Peralta’s permit program after the new legislative session begins in January. He is looking for a sponsor in the state Assembly.