New York City’s parking privatisation on hold

New York City has scrapped a controversial plan to privatise its street-parking management system. The concept was designed to help ease the financial position of the city by generating a steady revenue stream under a leasing arrangement with the private sector, according to the Wall Street Journal.

However opposition to the plan was strong, citing a similar move by Chicago in 2008 which reportedly resulted in a four-fold increase in parking levies and a deal which saw the city short-changed by an under-valued contract agreement.

According to BizJournals.com, there is also concern stemming from the Chicago case study about confusing enforcement policies regarding handicapped spaces as well as road closures during public events.

While other US cities such as Cincinnati have decided to move ahead with their own version of the plan, in the face of the public outcry, NYC’s Department of Transportation has instead decided to proceed with a “meter-modernization” strategy making their own collection strategy more efficient.

However New York’s privatisation plan is not dead and buried, with a spokeswoman for the mayor saying, “in order to proceed with this venture, a private operator would have to demonstrate that they could significantly improve on the city’s financial and operational performance.”

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