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Photo via Shutterstock
Photo via Shutterstock
An elected official from Ridgewood is apprehensive of a carshare pilot program coming to her district.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is looking to promote carsharing in the city and are launching a two-year pilot program in 15 neighborhoods to do so.

Four Queens neighborhoods — Jackson Heights, Jamaica, the Rockaways and Ridgewood — were chosen for the pilot. Currently, the DOT is urging residents to visit its website and vote on specific corners where they think carsharing would be the most useful.

In March, City Council passed Local Laws 47 and 50 to officially establish the carsharing pilot program.

Once a location is chosen — the DOT focused on corners for “maximum visibility” and places where alternate side parking is in effect — those parking spots will only be used for carsharing companies. The city will announce the participating companies by the end of the year.

The companies will also be able to use 10 parking spots or 10 percent of the spaces in municipal parking facilities.

Carsharing allows residents to use cars for short rides and either return the vehicle to the same spot where they picked it up or at another location within the company’s service zone. According to the DOT, the program is aiming to improve air quality and reduce congestion, shorten searches for parking, lower transportation costs and improve access to services.

At a community board meeting in Glendale in June, a spokesperson for the DOT said the agency looked at similar programs in San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Boston and Hoboken to study their best practices.

The pilot programs included dedicating curbside parking spaces for carshare vehicles, and requiring carshare companies to expand their services into underserved neighborhoods. After implementing the programs in these cities, between five and 20 personal vehicles were either sold by their owners or they suppressed purchasing a personal vehicle for every carshare vehicle on the road.

The DOT is also arguing that carsharing may actually increase parking availability. Dedicating 2 percent of on-street parking to carsharing vehicles, the DOT claims, could potentially open up nearly 13 percent new parking spaces.

In Jackson Heights, the DOT has selected an area that borders Northern Boulevard, 75th Street, 37th Avenue and 90th Street. Dozens of people have left comments to recommend or condemn certain areas for the program.

JACKSON HEIGHTS

In Ridgewood, an area bordered by Woodbine Street, Myrtle Avenue, St. Felix Avenue and Irving Avenue, is up for consideration.

RIDGEWOOD

The main thoroughfares of Hillside Avenue, Merrick Boulevard, Linden Boulevard and Farmers Boulevard make up the boundaries for the Jamaica carshare program.

JAMAICA

Lastly, in the Rockaways, residents will be able to choose certain locations along a large swath of the eastern portion of the neighborhood.

ROCKAWAYS

If a person returning a car to a specific parking spot finds it occupied by a non-carshare vehicle, the carshare company has the authority to move it at no extra charge to the car owner. A notification system will let drivers know where their car was relocated. The NYPD is also authorized to ticket and tow illegally parked vehicles.

Carshare companies will also have to clean and maintain the streets that their vehicles occupy.

 

 

 

Comments:

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Steven Katz August 24, 2017 / 04:50PM
Hold the phone, folks. If I understand the law correctly, the parking of commercial vehicles on city streets (including trucks, taxis, etc., especially overnight, is ILLEGAL. Just because it's not regularly enforced, doesn't make it any more permissable.
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