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Times Metro Desk Explains Parking Reform For the Windshield Set
Posted By Stephen Miller On November 26, 2012 @ 5:38 pm In Media Watch | 14 Comments
In today’s edition, the New York Times took a look at parking policy in Downtown Brooklyn . You wouldn’t expect the Times to explore a wonky topic like parking reform with the same depth as Streetsblog’s  coverage  of the proposal, but still, the article barely hinted at the huge costs imposed by parking minimums. Scarcely a word was devoted to the evidence that parking minimums make housing less affordable, or that they induce traffic and congestion.
The key to understanding the piece is in the first sentence. Reporter Thomas Kaplan — who usually covers politics in Albany, not zoning in Brooklyn — started it off with this snappy lede: “In traffic-clogged New York City, where parking spaces are coveted like the rarest of treasures, an excess of parking spaces might seem like an urban planner’s dream.”
Joined by Streetsblog founding editor Aaron Naparstek, I asked Kaplan on Twitter: Who, exactly, are these mysterious urban planners? Naparstek suggested  that perhaps he was “referring to ‘an urban planner’s dream’ from 1956, suburban Long Island.”
It turns out Kaplan wasn’t talking about urban planners at all. “To the avg person who can’t find a place to park in NYC,” he replied , “surplus parking might seem like a good thing.”
@naparstek  Right—I meant, to the avg person who can’t find place to park in NYC, surplus parking might seem like a good thing for a planner
— Thomas Kaplan (@thomaskaplan) November 26, 2012 
So there you have it: The story is not intended for the majority of New York City households who don’t own a car, nor for a hypothetically “neutral” audience who might want to understand the significance of parking policy regardless of their personal stake in the outcome. It’s for “the average person who can’t find a place to park in NYC.”
The gap between the New York Times Metro Desk and Marcia Kramer  may not be as big as you’d think.
Article printed from Streetsblog New York City: http://www.streetsblog.org
URL to article: http://www.streetsblog.org/2012/11/26/at-the-times-metro-desk-viewing-parking-policy-from-behind-the-windshield/
URLs in this post:
 parking policy in Downtown Brooklyn: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/26/nyregion/seeking-to-rein-in-excess-parking-in-downtown-brooklyn.html
 Streetsblog’s: http://www.streetsblog.org/2012/08/16/markowitz-wants-new-downtown-bk-parking-regs-to-apply-to-old-buildings/
 coverage: http://www.streetsblog.org/2012/10/18/planning-commission-oks-paltry-parking-reform-for-downtown-brooklyn/
 suggested: https://twitter.com/naparstek/status/272922257721004032
 he replied: https://twitter.com/thomaskaplan/status/272939609816702976
 naparstek: https://twitter.com/naparstek
 Marcia Kramer: http://www.streetsblog.org/2012/11/01/at-bloomberg-press-conference-one-thing-is-back-to-normal-after-sandy/
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