Downtown Brooklyn Mulls Putting Empty Parking Spaces to Better Use

East
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
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ESPO's "Love Letter to Brooklyn" mural painted on the Macy's parking garage. (Garrett Ziegler / Flickr)

ESPO’s “Love Letter to Brooklyn” mural painted on the Macy’s parking garage. (Garrett Ziegler / Flickr)

Downtown Brooklyn has an unusual situation on its hands: it has a surplus of parking spaces. But soon developers may get the green light to put that space to other use. As AN reported this summer, the city’s zoning rules require new residential developments to build large garages, most of which have remained half empty. With a plethora of transit options in the area—including 13 subway lines, seven subway stops, more than a dozen bus routes, and a commuter rail to boot—there is little demand for parking, which is why the Department of City Planning (DCP) and developers are advocating for new zoning. Yesterday the New York City Council considered a proposal from the DCP that suggests reducing the minimum parking requirements from 40 percent to 20 percent of new residential housing units, which would free up those spaces for other uses whether it be mixed-income and affordable housing or public parking. City Council will likely hold a vote on the proposal on December 4th.

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