State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) receives extensive numbers of constituent complaints regarding parking problems in residential neighborhoods near LaGuardia Airport.
Not that he needs to be convinced.
“I live in Jackson Heights,” he said. “People can drive round for 30 minutes looking for parking spaces. I’ve done it too.”
The trouble, he said, is largely airport-related. And he has introduced a bill in the Senate that would allow the city to set up a one-year trial period during which 80 percent of the parking spaces on residential streets within two miles of LaGuardia would be reserved for residents with a paid parking sticker.
The sticker, specific to one car, would be applied to the inside of the windshield.
“One of the problems is people working on the construction jobs at the airport, which is going to go on for at least four more years,” he said. “Then you have people using the airport who park, leave their car and come back in a week.”
As for where he would like workers at the airport to park, Peralta said that is not under the scope of his bill.
“That should have been worked out beforehand,” he said. “There are places available.”
Many major cities in the United States, he said, have some form of paid permits for residential parking.
Peralta’s measure, S.6931, also would set aside 20 percent of the spaces for nonresidents. Commercial streets would not come under the program.
He said he is working to find a sponsor for a companion bill in the state Assembly.
The senator said any fee would be a “reasonable” one, but that the amount would have to be worked out in Albany and the City Council.
Peralta in an interview with the Chronicle floated the idea of a $35 fee for one year. But he also cited a 2013 survey of 200 New Yorkers from Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn and northern Manhattan. It was conducted by researchers from New York University and the City University of New York.
The survey found that many people would be willing to pay more.
Peralta said any program would first be the subject of a public hearing at the City Council level.
All money generated would go to the city’s general fund.
Peralta said if a program is determined to be successful — if resident complaints about parking decline — then it could be expanded to other areas after a year.
Enforcement would be up to the NYPD. Those hosting guests overnight or longer would have to contact their local precinct to notify them that a visitor would be parking in a specific area, along with the car’s make, model and license plate.
“Officers out on patrol would know not to ticket that car,” he said.
Peralta did not know what would happen in the event a resident with a sticker found no places to park other than a space reserved for nonresidents.
“Those scenarios will be addressed in the Council hearings,” he said.