Councilman Gentile (Brooklyn) proposed a five minute double parking allowance yesterday. His thinking is that drivers should be allowed to double park for five minutes while they conduct their business. This is a terrible idea for so many reasons, but here are a few of the most obvious ones:
- Double parking makes traffic worse than it already is by reducing the number of lanes available to through traffic.
- Double parked vehicles are a hazard both by being stopped in traffic lanes and because other vehicles must move around them to continue forward.
- The above mentioned hazard is even more dangerous for cyclists who must maneuver into another traffic lane to avoid the double parked vehicle. Even worse, they might have to contend with someone who has just double parked and throws their door open in the cyclist’s path.
Double parking is already a problem and introducing a law that condones it will only serve to make it more prevalent, not to mention the fact that enforcement of the five minute rule will be impossible. Given the traffic in the five boroughs, lawmakers should be introducing bills that seek to reduce congestion, not increase it. Trucks need to make deliveries, and we all get benefits from the products they bring to local merchants. Laws should seek to make it easier for commercial vehicles to make their deliveries without double parking by keeping private vehicles off of non-residential streets during certain hours.