NYCHA partner mismanages parking enforcement

| September 12, 2013

A number of New York housing project residents are outraged at the city’s lack of enforcement in the parking lots of these residential buildings, according to a recent Daily News article.

Residents report that the New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) recent partnership with Greystone Parking Services is largely to blame. As of April 2013, Greystone is responsible for “oversee[ing] the permit issuance process and the enforcement of parking rules and regulations at all of NYCHA’s parking facilities.”

Residents with permits WISH this were the case. via Walter Grutchfield.

Residents with permits WISH this were the case. via Walter Grutchfield.

At this point, it appears that permit issuance was not an issue for Greystone, perhaps due to the major increase in the cost of parking when the switch was made. NYCHA’s website shows a more than fourfold increase in the annual cost of a parking permit in New York housing projects.

Many residents might find such a steep increase in parking costs justified if it meant service and enforcement would also be improved. And there’s every indication that NYCHA thought their partnership with Greystone would improve the parking woes that had been plaguing NYCHA residents.

But as a website FAQ states, “The changes to the resident parking program will help ensure cleaner and safer parking lots for all residents. The changes will also ensure that parking spaces will only be used by those with valid permits. The new program will provide enforcement for unauthorized parked vehicles.” The page also notes that “the Greystone Company will also manage enforcement of unauthorized use of NYCHA parking lots — a source of frustration for those who have had valid parking permits.” Unfortunately, this source of frustration only appears to have worsened with the introduction of the costly parking permits.

Greystone seems to be doing a poor job of enforcing the permit system. NYCHA lists its parking rules quite clearly, noting the importance of prominently displaying a parking permit, at risk of ticketing and towing.

The rules, however, provide no relief for a NYCHA resident attempting to deal with a permitless car taking up a reserved space; NYCHA’s customer service line is only available from 9 to 5 on weekdays. Residents report that Greystone only tows these illegally parked cars during those Monday-through-Friday business hours, leaving residents in a jam during mornings, evenings, and weekends.

This isn’t the first time in recent days that NYCHA has faced scrutiny for proposed changes in parking policy. A Wall Street Journal article from last Thursday shows that Mayor Bloomberg and the city are looking to lease NYCHA parking lots to private developers to gain more funding for the housing authority. Many NYCHA residents are unwilling to sacrifice their parking spots, even if it means more funding for their residences.

NYCHA owes it to their residents to address these concerns in a timely manner, as they are responsible for giving Greystone a level of authority that they either can’t or won’t handle well. Both the Daily News and Journal articles note that NYCHA is under fire from tenant groups and elected officials, like Flushing Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz.

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Category: Parking

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