Over the last three decades, the number of off-street parking spaces in Manhattan has fallen by one-fifth—to 102,000 from 127,000, according to a Department of City Planning study cited in The New York Times.
New urbanists have argued for years that cities would be better off with less of their land devoted to parking. And New York has moved in that direction, with a push from the federal Clean Air Act, whose regulations have limited the number of new parking lots.
Since the 1980s, developers have no longer been required to provide parking in new developments, and special permission have been required to build large garages, The Times reported in its Sunday real estate section.
In Manhattan, "parking lots and garages are being snapped up to make way for all sorts of development, especially luxury condominiums," the paper said. "In most cases, the lost public spaces are not replaced, because zoning rules discourage developers from adding parking to new residential buildings." Though it's still common for luxury-condo buyers to want a parking space, in some instances they are provided off-site.
In the past six years, 92 parking lots or garages have been sold and redeveloped. Most off-street parking is now occupied by the cars of residents, not commuters, according to The Times. But there is concern about whether there's enough parking available in areas that rely on visitors and commuters, such as the theater district and areas around hospitals.
Consequently, officials will convene public meetings in coming weeks to explore the state of parking in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
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