Last month, we said it'd take a Christmas Eve revelation to get Mayor Bloomberg to renege on his plans to increase parking prices across the city. But it turns out that all it took was a bowl of matzoh ball soup! Bloomberg announced yesterday that the city would hold off on increasing parking rates in the outer boroughs from 75 cents to a dollar an hour. And credit is being given to City Councilman James Vacca for slipping whatever potion he did into Bloomberg's soup.
Bloomberg had snuck the rate hike into a dire 2011 fiscal budget, but after lobbying by members of the City Council, led by Vacca, the chairman of the Council's Transportation committee, he's letting the outer boroughs off the hook. Unfortunately, Manhattan below 86th street won't be spared the hike; prices will increase from $2.50 to $3 per hour. Vacca met Bloomberg for a luncheon Dec. 30 at George's Diner in Pelham Bay, for a private one-on-one with Hizzoner: "I had a rare opportunity to bring up my issues with the mayor, face to face. I talked, he listened and I could tell that he took my words to heart," Vacca, who had split pea soup, told the News.
But the administration is treating this is as a reprieve for now, without any promises to raise prices later. To that end, Vacca says he plans to introduce legislation soon that would prohibit the city from raising meter rates by more than 25 percent over a five-year period. We don't really know how rare these private meetings with the Mayor are, but we wonder if Vacca's matzah ball sit-down was the same one in which he took Bloomberg to task for the poor snow removal job.