Wednesday, November 10, 2021

The Perils of Onstreet Parking

We've all had experience. Someone on our block--could be a neighbor or a visitor--pulls into a space between two cars already parked. The space is big enough for two cars, but they park their car smack dab in the middle, leaving a space in front and a space in back not big enough to park a car. 

Usually when we see this, we mutter curses under our breath and look for a space farther up the block, but it seems that on Alderman Malachi Walker's block in the Fourth Ward situations like this have more than once led to fisticuffs, so he came up with plan to remedy the problem: paint parking lines, like the ones on Warren Street and other streets where there are parking meters, on every street in the city. A resolution to that effect came before the Common Council on Monday night.

Before the Council could consider the resolution, Rob Perry, superintendent of the Department of Public Works, noted some problems with the plan. Perry explained that painting parking lines on residential streets would actually eliminate potential parking spaces, since a parking space, as dictated by the city code, is 22 feet long and the average car is only 15 feet long. He calculated that painting parking spaces throughout the city would cost $64,000, an amount that had not been written into the budget. 

Later in the meeting, when the Council got to the resolution on its agenda, it was agreed that the resolution would be tabled. Walker insisted there needed to be a way to "hold people accountable for the way they are parking." Council president Tom DePietro suggested, "We may need an ad hoc committee to pursue this."
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20 comments:

  1. There is also the opposite problem when someone pulls up to within inches of your back bumper and someone else backs up to your front bumper blocking you in! People do not know how to park properly. I guess they are used to parking in parking lots where you pull up to the car in the opposite space.

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  2. The only thing about holding folks accountable is how one knows which car left the gap. Maybe the one in the middle parked 1st and the ones on the ends left too much space

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  3. Totally impossible to hold anyone "accountable" unless some one views every single car being parked as no one has any idea who was there first, who moved their car, who entered a new spot etc. Having parked cars in and around Hudson for 50 years there have been dozens of times where I parked a car in perfect position only to return and find myself boxed in on both bumpers or to see an entirely new group of cars surrounding me. My personal solution is to always park near a corner when possible so no one can park in back of me . Assures you a quick get-away !

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  4. Typical current Hudson governmental response to a common sense solution: first, can’t do it; then too expensive; then let’s study it. A fine example of institutional stasis due entirely to a leadership vacuum.

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  5. Hudson has a 1950's zoning code and the complementary parking code that goes with it.
    Long after most cites in America have gone to a 9' x 18' required parking space from our gargantuan 10' x 20' code mandated spaces. that could increase available parking by 10% across the board.

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  6. How about a basic informational campaign to educate residents about the do’s and don’t’s of local parking? Maybe someone could create a cheap flyer to put in every mailbox?

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    1. I was also going to suggest creating a flyer to put on the windshields of offenders but that is probably too much.

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  7. You have to pay for a study first before you can do anything, then pay for a study of the study. Common sense doesn't exist in government.

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  8. Many years ago, when I lived in a very densely populated area on Long Island, I managed to parallel park my car within 8 inches of the car in front and the car behind. It was so epic that I took a photo. My best parking job ever. That said, I hate it when people waste space. But I do still have the photo.

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  9. If people with their own driveways were mandated to use them to park in, then there would be a lot more available parking. It's sheer laziness to park in the street when one has private places to park.

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  10. Have the ad hoc committees turned in anything worthwhile since the committee structure was changed?

    At any rate, parking and transportation have been a perennial issue for years in Hudson, with shockingly little attention paid by the Common Council. Parking kiosks could accept credit cards, allow for variable rates during different times of the week, and eliminate the need for such large spaces. A municipal structure could offer discounted rates to local residents. Annual parking passes could alleviate pressure on the streets while allowing for much-needed revenue to a City that seems desperate to bankrupt itself. I guess it's all just too much math and stuff for this crew.

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  11. I loved Rob Perry's typical dismissive and insulting response that he is so skilled at: "Are you going to install parking meters all over town to pay for this?" He doesn't want to be bothered with it, so it won't happen. Someone should have asked him who painted the parking lines on Robinson Street a few or more years ago, why it was done, and how much that cost the city.
    B Huston

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  12. This whole parking thing is just ridiculous. No major city has parking lines on every street. Mandate people to park in their driveways? When? All the time, even if they are doing business elsewhere in town? I have never, ever had an issue finding a place to park in Hudson, in any area, at any time of day or night. Do I have to walk a little ways sometimes? Yes, just like when I park in Albany, New York, Boston, Kingston, etc etc The city has way bigger issues, and this is just a distraction. Move to Greenport, they have parking lots galore!

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    1. The alderman who started this proposal is maybe well intentioned but a bit clueless and impractical.
      You are absolutely right, MS, a proposal to install parking lines all over town is not important enough to be spending any time or effort on and would be an awful use of DPW's time and resources. Yes, poor parking is a problem but we can live with it. A city manager, at least a worthwhile one, would have nipped this in the bud: Sorry, alderman, move on and find a worthwhile issue to tackle. B Huston

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  13. Why wasn't this brought up when the Tourist Board was flush with so much Tax cash ? . Any way if it was, probably would have been knocked down due to that fact its not Diverse enough. TO much white paint

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    1. Look at what they did to Warren St. Do you really want them to have more access?

      The owner of Lil Deb's, Hannah Black, apparently can't even show up to the meetings to make an accounting for the location of the city's stage and sound equipment.

      At any rate there is plenty they could have done or studied to make weekends better for residents and more accessible for visitors. Instead we got ugly concrete blocks and one member using taxpayer money to throw their kid a parade. (Hopefully the piano Hudson had to buy for that will be returned soon.)

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  14. This is well intentioned but ridiculous. As mentioned by MS, above, there is a reason this is not done anywhere else. The only reason it’s done on Warren is to assign parking meters. Marking spaces would have to be done at the lowest (or highest in this case) common denominator and be sized for a Ford F-350, even though the average car is much smaller. That’s why the spaces on Warren are comically gigantic. Plus, you cannot perfectly fit all the spaces in without having some wasted spaces on “remainders” like near intersections, curb cuts, and fire hydrants. This plan would actually do the opposite of its intention and force all cars to be spaced apart. People just park where they can fit. Since everyone doesn’t park at the exact same time and car size varies, it will never be 100% efficient. This is another case of letting anecdotal bias replace studied urban planning and traffic science. This is also another textbook example of why we need to update the charter and bring in a city manager. Nothing gets done in this city because the day to day business is being micromanaged by inexperienced electeds who are driven by emotion and political whims. Hire experienced urban planners to run the gears of the city and hold department heads accountable. The council should get their heads out of weeds and focus on the bigger picture.

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  15. With all due respect, I just have to say that the people who somehow think that THIS is a major issue have probably never actually lived in a big city outside of little old Hudson. Please.

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