Council Speaker Christine Quinn at the Carroll School (PS 58)
Council Member Brad Lander
Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Organization's Glenn Kelly, Maria Pagano and Colleen Giunta
don't create more parking, but will ease the burden a little bit Challenges facing small businesses.
Council Speaker Christine Quinn came to last night's Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association meeting to talk about the City's budget, neighborhood parking and how she plans on helping small businesses. Oh, and she wanted the audience to know that after a visit to our neighborhood a few months back, her partner declared Carroll Gardens her favorite neighborhood and wants to move her.
The Council Speaker was introduced by our Councilman Brad Lander with high praises, a favor she returned when she spoke. It all felt very much like a pit stop on the campaign trail, but most in the audience seemed pleased to get a chance to meet Quinn, who is apparently planning on running for mayor.
The Speaker talked about New York City's budget as it relates to the State budget. "I think the Governor is right in trying to get the State's finances under control. And I am not saying that New York City should have no cuts, but we shouldn't be cut more than any other part of the State." Neither, she suggested, should the city be penalized for good fiscal planning by prepaying bills and having set aside money in a trust.
Quinn also gave some examples of how she plans on helping neighborhoods with their mounting parking problems. One solution would be to allow community boards, which have received the highest cleanliness rating in the Mayor's Management Report for two years in a row, to cut back on alternate side of the street parking, if they want.
"Now it doesn't make more spots, but it means you don't have to drive around an extra day a week [to find parking.]"
She credited Councilman Lander for this suggestion.
The Council is also going to pass legislation that would require the City to come up with an interactive map of parking spots to make it easier for drivers to avoid streets closed for construction and for filming. "It doesn't make more spots but it tells you: Don't go down those streets!"
Though these ideas are certainly worth looking into, the only real solution for the City's parking problem is to discourage people to own cars in the first place. As one member of the audience stated, one does that by strengthening public transportation.
The last issue brought up by Quinn is the overwhelming amount of bureaucracy and paperwork involved in opening a small business in New York City. As an example, she gave the problems facing new restaurant owners, who have to deal with several agencies and conflicting regulations. Quinn proposes to streamline the inspection process for new eateries and to put in place 'NYC Business Link,' a way for the city to embrace customer service the same way businesses do."
Let the campaigning begin...