Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics



  • It’s Time to Deliver Our Neighborhoods from Illegal Commercial Truck Parking


    Illegal truck parking in Queens (photo: Daniel Sparrow, Council Member Linda Lee's office)

    No matter where you look in Eastern Queens, it seems like there’s a commercial truck illegally parked. Whether it’s along a highway or in a quiet residential neighborhood, these four-ton vehicles are hard to miss. Now, it seems like this long-standing problem is reaching a crisis level citywide. Fines and enforcement alone won’t solve this problem -- we need a comprehensive solution that involves government agencies, elected officials, and the private sector to solve this problem for the

  • Imagining a DeCentral Park


    Bikers in Central Park (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    The past year has taught us all just how valuable outdoor space truly is, and how much our current cityscape is sorely lacking. Nearly 20% of New Yorkers, almost 1.5 million people, are not within walking distance of a park. But there is a solution right before our eyes, a hidden “Decentral Park” in our city’s streets.

    Open Streets, Open Restaurants, and pop-up bike

  • When Inexperience Wins, New York City Loses


    (photo via PayLock)

    The only thing worse than getting a parking ticket is having your car towed for unpaid fines. For decades, it was the ultimate New York hassle: spend hours looking for your car only to find out you’ve been ticketed, towed, charged a storage fee, and forced to rescue your vehicle from a distant decrepit parking lot.

    Driving has its place in New York City, which is why there are two million ...

  • Corey Johnson Wants to ‘Break the Car Culture’ in New York City. What Does That Mean?

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    Speaker Johnson on the train (photo: City Council's office)

    Imagine a New York where cars no longer rule the road, and pedestrians and cyclists reclaim dominance of the city’s public space. While a New York where cars don’t dominate the streets may seem like a fantasy, to City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, it is the future.

    In recent months, Johnson -- a Manhattan Democrat in his second year leading the 51-member City Council -- has gone full bore touting the idea of “breaking car culture,” or prioritizing pedestrians, cyclists,

  • How One New Yorker's App Pushed 311 to Modernize Traffic Violation Reporting (to an Extent)

    mayorsoffice parking

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    When Jeff Novich wanted to report a honking taxi outside his apartment in 2014, he did what most New Yorkers do when making noise complaints. He filed an online report with 311.

    It was the start of an ongoing relationship with the now 16-year-old city service, which in 2018 handled over 20,000 daily phone calls and 3 million individual reports equaling more than 44 million interactions in total. The service’s 400-plus employees handle everything from noise complaints to dispensing daily

  • End the Parking Giveaways, Increase Revenue and Reduce Congestion

    mbdb alfred smith

    (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)

    New York City’s Department of Finance announced last week that it is moving to reduce the discounts it gives to commercial vehicles through a 15-year-old program that gives companies like Verizon and Fresh Direct a bulk break on parking tickets.

    City officials say that the program’s new, higher fees will help reduce congestion by raising the pain for trucks that are double-parked or otherwise blocking traffic, as well as raise revenues by a relatively small amount: $17 million annually. They have