Here we go again!The city has brought back an ill-considered plan to raise parkingmeter rates, from 75 cents an hour in short-term parking locationsin Brooklyn and the other outer boroughs, to $1.00 an hour.That means that, beginning August 9, already cash-strappedBrooklynites will have to dig deeper in their pockets, at a timewhen, for many people, every penny counts.Every time we turn around, there’s a new cost, a new tax, a newfee, complained City Councilmember Vincent Gentile who contendedthat, Here in south Brooklyn, we’re especially tired of the cityalways reaching for our wallets but never delivering when it comesto services.The administration had contemplating increasing parking costs atthe beginning of the year but, after an outcry, deferred it. But,like so many other bad plans, It’s back…with a vengeance.The last time the city raised meter rates in the outer boroughs, in2009, from 50 cents to 75 cents an hour, it neglected broad-basednotification to residents.That meant that unsuspecting motorists parked at meters they hadparked at for years, fed them the way they always had, anddisappeared, to return – an hour or two later – to find a brightorange parking ticket tucked in their windshield wipers, because -virtually overnight – the quarter that had once bought half anhour’s parking suddenly only bought 20 minutes’ worth.This time round, when the city retools its meters, that samequarter will only buy 15 minutes — barely time to run into thecorner grocery for a cup of coffee and a newspaper.Tough as this is likely to be on motorists, the impact of such amove is likely to extend beyond them, as well, to merchants on areashopping strips who could see business drop as residents look forother options to do their shopping.We understand the importance of increasing municipal revenue, tomitigate the effects of the budget axe. But, there has to be abetter way to do it.We say to the city, go back to the drawing board and come up with abetter way of raising money than on the backs ofalready-overburdened New Yorkers.Brooklyn residents and businesspeople deserve no less.
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