The new Park Smart zone covers 86th Street between First and Madison Avenues, Madison between 86th and 79th, and small spurs of 85th, 83rd, and 82nd off of Madison. Along those stretches, parking is now priced at $2.50 per hour from 9 a.m. to noon and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. In the afternoon peak hours, on-street spaces go for $3.75 per hour, making them the most expensive on-street spaces in the city.
In comparison, single-space meters in the neighborhood charge $1.50 per hour, while the Greenwich Village Park Smart program charges $3.00 for peak hours, according to the DOT website .
Of course, the more important comparison may be to the price of off-street spaces. Parking for one hour mid-afternoon at the ICON Alert garage, located on 85th at Madison, costs $22. With or without Park Smart, on-street spaces remain one of the best deals in New York City.
The neighborhood hasn't complained much about the increased rates, according to Michael Auerbach, president of the local civic group Upper Green Side, who attributed much of his neighborhood's traffic problem to cheap metered parking and the thousands of free alternate side parking spaces. "We hope the city continues to introduce innovative parking programs like Park Smart in other parts of the Upper East Side soon," he said.