The parking lot at a Queens apartment building has been a problem for years.
Now it’s a problem in Brooklyn.NYC parking lot contractors say they’re struggling to keep up with demand as they try to manage a growing supply.
But they say the city’s parking laws and regulations aren’t doing enough to protect them from unscrupulous operators.
The contractors’ frustration has led to a campaign to make parking lot owners pay a toll to park them.
The $3 fee will go to the city to cover enforcement costs.
“I think we have to pay for enforcement, because it’s costing us hundreds of millions of dollars every year,” said Joe Salzman, who has operated the Queens Parking Lot Contractors Association for 13 years.
“The city’s doing a poor job of protecting us.”
The union has a new member.
The union is asking residents to support a petition to remove the $3 toll.
“This is a public health issue,” said Salzman.
“This is public safety.
People are dying.
The public is paying for this.
We are not being protected.”
The parking lot’s owners say they’ve been told to pay the toll and that the city isn’t enforcing parking laws.
Parking commissioner John Cottrell said he has heard from many people who have told him they pay the fee but have been told by city officials they can’t park there until the toll is paid.
City officials say the fee is a way to make sure contractors have enough money to hire a contractor to clean up the mess after they work the city.
But the owners say the problem has gotten out of hand.
“The contractor will just park the vehicle and leave, then he goes back to work and the car will go right through the front window,” said Eric O’Brien, the owner of The New York Parking Lot.
“If you have someone who is doing that for $3 a day, he’s not going to do it.”
Some parking lot operators have called the fee extortion.
“You can pay for a parking space at the same rate as a parking spot on another street, and yet you can’t pay the parking space on another block?” said Salazar.
“It’s just ridiculous.”
The owners have filed a lawsuit against the city for allegedly charging a fee that’s too high.
Salzman says they’re planning a campaign, and he said he expects to get thousands of signatures in support of their cause.
“It’s not just about parking, it’s about all the other issues that are impacting people, and that’s a serious problem,” he said.
“I’m hoping people will get involved and say ‘Enough is enough.'”