“The worst thing we could do is create projects that create a parking need and then not provide that parking.”
That was Seth Pinsky, former head of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, in 2010. True to that philosophy, during his tenure NYCEDC incentivized and financed suburban-style parking in development projects in neighborhoods across the city, ensuring that local residents will be dealing with resulting motor vehicle traffic for years to come.
Having recently departed NYCEDC for the private sector, Pinsky sat for an interview with Nancy Scola at Next City. It’s a wide-ranging piece, and well worth a read.
Here’s Pinsky on NYCEDC and parking:
NC: What do you make of the critique that NYCEDC has focused on big development projects with a ton of parking, not necessarily places that people can walk to and that are well-integrated into the fabric of street life?
Pinsky: It’s a critique that in no way reflects the reality of the record. The fact is, if you look at the major development projects that the city has undertaken under Mayor Bloomberg, whether it’s in neighborhoods like Willets Point or Coney Island or St. George in Staten Island or Hudson Yards, the city has either developed these projects around excellent public transportation access or [has] actually invested in the public transportation that will be necessary to allow people to commute. Anyone who thinks that this has not been a public transit-friendly administration is either blind to reality or has some sort of alternative agenda to push.
Note that Pinsky avoids answering for the thousands of parking spaces that EDC under his watch shoehorned into neighborhoods that do, in fact, have excellent transit. Though he is asked explicitly about EDC parking development — once a point of pride for Pinsky — he never even says the word.
It’s true that NYCEDC’s record over the last several years speaks for itself. Even if Pinsky now won’t acknowledge it.