From the NY Post:
It turns out that New York City's streets actually are paved with gold -- its tens of thousands of parking meters could be worth $5 billion or more if privatized.
City officials are looking at how other cash-strapped municipalities have already auctioned off the long-term rights to their meters for hundreds of millions of dollars -- and say the move could work for the Apple.
Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith -- assigned by Mayor Bloomberg to find innovative ways to cut spending and increase revenues -- liked the idea enough to bring it up at a city Department of Transportation meeting.
Officials confirmed that the proposal had been discussed. Still, they added that it's not likely to be acted on in the immediate future, given that such a one-shot sell-off of such a revenue generator is out of line with Bloomberg's pledge not to saddle future generations with debts.
Still, if the city's fiscal situation gets desperate enough, the plan could shift quickly to cashing in on the meters.