Localize.city Uncovers Where New Yorkers Gripe Most about Parking Problems

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June 15, 2018
  • Parking-related complaints to 311 spiked 228 percent over the past five years
  • Long Island City had the most parking complaints per resident
  • Blocked driveways were the most griped-about issue, with residents from one block in Flushing logging nearly 500 blocked driveway complaints over past year

Complaining about parking headaches is something of a sport among New York’s car owners. But lately, more drivers have been taking those gripes to the next level and calling — or texting, emailing or tweeting — the city’s 311 hotline.

Parking-related complaints to 311 spiked 228 percent from May 2013 to May 2018, according to an analysis from Localize.city, a website that uses artificial intelligence to provide buyers and renters with critical details for every home. That compares to a 31 percent increase in all other 311 complaints during that five-year time span.

“It’s difficult to park in many neighborhoods. But in areas with high rates of parking complaints, New Yorkers have reached their limit. They want the city to take more action when it comes to drivers who flout parking laws,” said Localize.city urban planner Stephen Albonesi.

Localize.city found there were roughly 15,000 more vehicles in the city — 0.17 percent — but there were fewer cars per residents. Car ownership dipped slightly, by -0.63 percent. So, car ownership rates during this time frame remained fairly stable.

Top Neighborhoods for Parking Complaints

Long Island City ranked No. 1 for complaints per resident in the past 12 months, with more than 4,000 parking-related complaints.

The neighborhood, a commercial and industrial hub where a major construction boom is underway, also saw the largest increase of parking-related complaints over five years.

“Tensions over parking have revved up in Long Island City as more people have moved into the neighborhood,” said Localize.city data scientist Michal Eisenberg. “Long Island City saw a 254 percent increase in the number of parking-related complaints over the past five years. Complaints jumped from 36 per every 1,000 residents to 127 per every 1,000 residents.”

Overall, Queens had the most complaints, with 44 per 1,000 residents, followed by Brooklyn with 41 complaints per 1,000 residents. In Manhattan — where car ownership rates are lowest and driveways aren’t common — complaints were lowest: 14 per 1,000 residents.

(Neighborhoods with fewer than 10,000 residents were excluded from the below ranking.)

Queens ranked first for number of blocked driveway complaints (nearly 24 per 1,000 residents), while Brooklyn was first for other illegal parking complaints (22 per 1,000 residents).

Localize.city found that parking-related complaints varied during weekday mornings and evenings.

“There was no noticeable difference between weekends and weekdays in total number of complaints. They were just distributed differently,” Eisenberg said. “Brooklyn had the most parking complaints during the weekday mornings. Queens saw the most parking complaints in the evening on weekdays. Bronx had the most complaints on the weekends, followed closely by Queens.”

Top three neighborhoods for overall complaints based on time of week:

  • No. 1 on weekday mornings: Long Island City
  • No. 1 on weekday evenings: Maspeth
  • No. 1 on weekends: Glendale

Neighborhoods with fewest parking-related complaints:

Neighborhoods with less commercial activity and more dedicated parking tend to have fewer parking-related complaints, like the sleepy Roosevelt Island. The small neighborhood has large garage for residents and others — and a bridge from Queens as the only one access point for cars.

Roosevelt Island had the fewest parking-related complaints with 0.2 per 1,000 residents. Stuyvesant Town and Kips Bay rounded out the top three.

Hot Spots for Blocked Driveways

The city saw roughly 137,000 blocked driveway complaints over the past five years, making it the No. 1 type of parking-related complaint. That figure was up about 162 percent over the past five years.

“A lot of neighborhoods with high rates of blocked driveway complaints have a high density of homes with driveways that are often so tightly spaced, many vehicles can’t fit into the street parking spaces between them,” Albonesi said. “Also, many have narrow streets, making double-parking for quick stops too difficult. Instead, drivers use the end of driveways for temporary parking.”

At 41-51 and 41-53 150th streets, in Flushing, nearly 450 blocked driveway complaints were logged over the past 12 months — the most in the city. These driveways sit next a small restaurant, El Ranchito de Daisy Salvadoreno, one of Flushing’s only Salvadoran spots. Restaurant patrons looking to park quickly on the short block seem to be overlooking the driveway boundaries. Most of the complaints were filed between the hours of noon and 6 p.m.

Queens is home to seven of the top 10 neighborhoods for blocked driveway complaints. Richmond Hill, South Richmond Hill and East Elmhurst were the top three. Two Bronx neighborhoods made the list: Van Nest (No. 4) and Morris Park (No. 8). One Brooklyn neighborhood made the list: East Williamsburg (No. 7).

Top Addresses for Other Types of Illegal Parking

While blocked driveway complaints tend to be the most popular gripe — after all, a resident with a blocked driveway has an incentive to report such an issue — the city has seen an increase of concerned citizens reporting issues like double-parked cars, blocked fire hydrants, unauthorized bus layovers, and vehicles violating posted parking signs.

Other illegal parking-related complaints spiked 326 percent to 149,000 complaints over the past five years.

Below are the specific addresses that were the top offenders for different categories.

Violating posted parking signs

New Yorkers complained 524 times from May 2017 to May 2018 about vehicles ignoring parking signs in front of a Yeshiva at 78-15 Parsons Boulevard, on the border of Kew Gardens Hills.

Blocked hydrants

Nearly 175 complaints were logged about cars blocking a hydrant at 722 East Fourth St. in Kensington. In this case, however, cars blocking the hydrant also block a driveway, so the driveway owners here have more of an incentive to report this blocked hydrant.

Additionally, there were many blocked driveway complaints for the nearby address at 718 East Fourth St. and a few more on the street, indicating a lot of homeowners on the block are upset about parked cars flouting the rules.

Blocked sidewalks

The building at 724 Coney Island Ave. saw 180 blocked sidewalk complaints last year.

This address sits on a Ditmas Park strip with garages for auto body shops and other manufacturing companies. It likely saw the most complaints for blocked sidewalks because vehicles parked in front of the garages were forcing pedestrians into the street.

Double-parked cars

New Yorkers complained most about traffic blocked by double-parked cars in front of the Upper East Side’s 1250 Park Ave., where a plumbing supply store is based. Nearly 160 complaints were made about that area last year.

Unauthorized bus layovers

Illegally parked buses have long been causing noise, pollution and congestion in Chinatown. More than 180 complaints were filed over buses at 9 Allen St., just south of Canal Street. Though the city has added sanctioned spots in recent years — and seized some buses operating at illegal stops — some operators still flout the rules, and residents continue to complain about them.

Is Parking a Problem Near You?

To find out if neighbors have been complaining about parking in the area, search your address: www.localize.city.  The website lets you know if an area is a hot spot for parking violations and complaints. You can sign up for updates on these quality-of-life issues and other topics relevant to what’s happening at your New York City address.

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