UWS out-of-state plates: Will NYC congestion pricing make it worse?

Residents who live on the Upper West Side say they’ve been seeing more vehicles with out-of-state plates looking for parking spots in their neighborhood.

New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, Delaware and Maine were just a few examples of out-of-state plates FOX 5 NY found when taking a casual drive through the area.

While New York cherishes its diversity, some drivers, including Maya Kron, say hordes of out-of-state drivers are scoping out spots because of congestion pricing, even though it hasn't started yet.

"More people are driving in early in the morning to find parking," Kron said.

The vast majority of out-of-state plates seen by FOX 5 NY were from New Jersey, and several of them had illegal covers.

Kron drives in from New Jersey, and her car is one of the NJ plates taking a spot on the street in the Upper West Side neighborhood. But for her, she says, mass transit isn't an option.

"There's no way for me to get here from Teaneck in an efficient way on time for work," Kron said.

Even though neighborhood residents that talked with FOX 5 NY say they haven't seen a difference, they do expect it will get worse once congestion pricing actually starts, and if it becomes a problem, they say the city should then start granting residential parking permits.

City hall was asked this week about residential parking permits, saying it would need Albany’s blessing, but that the city first needs to see which new traffic patterns develop as a result of congestion pricing.

"Residential parking permits are authorized by the state, so it’s something we would have to engage with our Albany lawmakers on as well, but I want to stress that we do need to see how the rollout shakes out before we preemptively start giving out residential parking permits," said Deputy Mayor Meera Joshi.