Source: Google Maps

As if the financial burden of Sandy recovery to Zone A residents wasn’t enough, the Department of Transportation sought to pile on the bills for hard-hit Brighton Beach residents by increasing quarterly rates in municipal parking lots by a whopping $220.

Permit-holding residents, business owners and commuters were alarmed to receive a letter earlier this month from the Department of Transportation, notifying them that quarterly rates would jump from $330 to $550 for the Brighton Beach Municipal Parking Lot at Brightwater Court and Brighton 3rd Street beginning January 1. Payments were requested by December 14 – even though many of the permit holders are Hurricane Sandy victims still grappling with thousands of dollars in damages to their homes, possessions and businesses.

But the letter also claimed the rates were approved by the City Council, which never happened, according to Councilman Michael Nelson.

Nelson – who represents Brighton Beach – received a copy of the letter from outraged constituents. His staff got in touch with DOT, who responded that “no such action has been taken by the Council. In fact, the DOT does not need Council approval to enact rate increases, but needs only to send out 30-day notices to permit holders,” according to a release sent by Nelson.

Still, DOT has nixed the increase mentioned in the letter sent earlier this month, and are notifying permit-holders that the letter was sent by mistake, and rates will remain the same for the time being.

The rates were slated to increase the same amount in 2011, but community outrage similarly spurred the DOT to rescind the plan.

Nelson is also requesting that the DOT confer with the City Council before instituting and rate increases and municipal lots.

“Many people who use these municipal parking lots and garages are on a fixed income, and already pay a fair share to park their cars,” said Councilman Nelson. “It is never an appropriate time to discuss rate increases, especially when many who were hit hard by the hurricane expect the City to work for, not against, them in the recovery.”

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  • BrooklynBus

    I commented on this already in the earlier thread about Towing. DOT also claimed in its 2011 letter that the City Council was responsible then. Councilman James Vacca was furious at DOT in yesterdays City Council hearing claiming you don’t make the same “mistake” two years in a row and it had to have been intentional.

    The response by DOT’s assistant commissioner to the proposed increase was that our mass transit system is excellent which is why less than 50% of city residents own cars and no one really needs to own a car in the City. Just unbelievable, And she probably earns $150,000 or more for responding like that.

  • guest

    Nothing in the Bloomberg administration gets a pass without consequences. Expect a fare hike or bike lanes somewhere else in southern Brooklyn.

  • Arthur Borko

    They really need to replace this parking lot with a mutli floor structure with a park on the top floor.

    • dontblocktheboardwalk

      while a multi-level parking lot would be a practical solution to the parking problem by the beach and brighton shopping area it would be sad to see another bit of the beach blocked by another multi level structure right off the boardwalk. putting a park on top of such a structure might help though. there IS a need for more parking there.

      • Arthur Borko

        It wouldn’t be a shame in the slightest if the proper aesthetic was used. Sandstone for example. Eventually people wouldn’t even realize it. The entire boardwalk is already lined with Apartment Buildings, Businesses and Nursing Homes…an attractive building that fits the Beach aesthetic, and blocks the view of apartment buildings from the beach (maybe some reflective glass so the ocean is visible) would make it even better.

        Don’t be so quick down to shoot an idea like this without thinking about how it might make things better.

      • BrooklynBus

        The City’s solution a few years ago was to replace the lot with more housing claiming the lot wasn’t even necessary. A study in the 80′s I believe by the Department of City Planning claimed there were no parking problems in Brighton Beach. So explain why finding a spot in January is still a problem. I would loved to have seen that study.