Cobble Hill

Cobble Hill steams over loss of parking to new construction, big car-share invasion

Merciless ticketing by City also cited as major gripe

June 13, 2018 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
These two tempting parking spaces on Clinton Street at Warren Street are vacant in anticipation of the upcoming car-share pilot program. But Cobble Hill drivers are already getting tickets and fines for parking here even though the program hasn’t rolled out yet. Eagle photos by Mary Frost

Cobble Hill car owners have already lost street parking due to ongoing construction at the former Long Island College Hospital (LICH) site. Now drivers are getting ticketed and towed as the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) has taken over more parking spaces in anticipation of the car-share pilot program.

DOT’s two-year pilot program is meant to promote car sharing by restricting roughly 300 parking spaces for exclusive use by companies like Zipcar and Enterprise.

Even though the program is not in operation yet, carshare signs have been posted at nine Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens locations, removing 18 local parking spots. Local residents say that police are swooping in to ticket and tow their cars even though no carshare vehicles are using the spaces.

“Residents received tickets right after the signs were installed and now several residents were booted and towed. This comes less than one week after the signs were installed,” the Cobble Hill Association (CHA) said in an e-blast.

“No special markings appear on the street and no other designation except a sign has been installed. Meaning everyone needs to read the parking signs carefully,” CHA adds. Fines could approach $500, the group said.

“Public land for private benefit,” Carroll Gardens resident Charles Harbutt told the Brooklyn Eagle. Harbutt was passing by one of the new car-share spaces at the intersection of Clinton and Warren streets. “There’s already a shortage with all the bicycles, which I don’t have a problem with. But it’s really become an absurdity how much commercial benefit [there is] at public expense.”

He added, “The last person who parked there got towed. He was booted, he was given two hours and $185 fine, and if he didn’t move his car within two hours it was going to be towed and he was going to be charged another $185.”

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Pointing to Warren Street, Harbutt said, “There were cop cars standing on that corner, sitting and waiting. Parking is tough enough. If you have a family in this neighborhood you can’t make due with a bicycle.”

When DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg announced the carshare program, she said it would eventually take private cars off the road.

“Our carshare pilot will give New Yorkers a chance to try a new affordable, convenient transportation option, which we hope will also ease parking pressure at our curbs and reduce congestion,” she said in a statement.

CHA said it asked for a reprieve from the program because of the amount of parking already seized by construction on the LICH site and the upcoming Brooklyn-Queens Expressway rehabilitation that will continue for the next decade.

“Unfortunately, we were not spared in this initial trial and rollout,” CHA said.

The carshare signs don’t get in the way of UPS delivery trucks, however, who are suddenly finding new open spaces to park their vehicles while making deliveries.

 

Carshare Parking Spot Locations in Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens

 

  • Congress Street at Hicks Street

  • Clinton Street at Warren Street

  • Baltic Street at Court Street

  • Dean Street at Court Street

  • Columbia Street at Union Street

  • Clinton Street at President Street

  • Carroll Street at Henry Street

  • Henry Street at Woodhull Street

  • Court Street at Garnet Street

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