Mayor enacts new ‘carsharing’ program, Bronx not thrilled

The Bronx will play a role in the mayor’s newly unveiled, two-year ‘carsharing’ pilot program that aims to reduce traffic and congestion around the entire city.

Mayor de Blasio and NYC Department of Transportation have dedicated parking spaces city wide for Zipcar and Enterprise CarShare vehicles on select neighborhood streets in addition to DOT municipal parking lots.

Simultaneously, NYC Housing Authority will also start a new partnership with Zipcar, dedicating spots at specific public housing developments.

Both of these programs shifted into gear on Monday, June 4.

What does this mean for the Bronx?

Parkchester will have 14 designated spots around the neighborhood for car-share, while the areas of Belmont Avenue, White Plains Road, and Jerome Avenue and E. 190th Street will also reserve spaces.

Bronx NYCHA complexes East 152nd St-Courtland Ave, Davidson Houses, Marble ing for the Zipcar deal as well.

“I’m excited to see the outcome of this,” said Councilman Mark Gjonaj. “I want to see how much of this will be used. If it works and there is a demand there we will look to expand it in my district,” he added.

Not all reaction to the carshare were positive in the Bronx, though.

Community Board 9 received complaints within the first 48 hours of the program’s going into operation.

CB 9 district manager William Rivera was not hesitant to say if this program is unsuccessful or residents continue to express frustration he will make the DOT very aware.

“This is a pilot program, if we see problems continuing especially early on we will make that known,” said Rivera. “The community board will be watching this very closely,” he added.

The complaint that CB 9 received came from Croes and Waston avenues, one of nine locations in the district, according to Rivera.

Community Board 6 was also less than thrilled to find out that Belmont would have to designate four spaces from its DOT municipal parking lot for the program.

“We understand that this is a new policy, but the lack of community awareness from the DOT is disturbing,” said CB 6 district manager John Sanchez.

The affected parking lot is in the heart of Arthur Avenue shopping area, which Sanchez said is heavily used by shoppers from as far away as 90 miles outside the city. The resulting impact of the new experimental initiative could jeopardize business, thereby exposing one of the program’s negatives.

Sanchez also expressed frustration in the DOT’s lack of openness.

While the department indicates that communication of the plan and project began in June of 2017, CB 6 records do not indicate any correspondence to the board or the Belmont Avenue Business Improvement District.

“We were given no details. There was no community engagement on this,” Sanchez added.

If the program is deemed a success, more carshare spots would be reserved in the borough over the years.