2004-02-13 / Columnists

Boyle-ing Points

Curb This Plan
by Kevin Boyle

Let's hear it for less parking! All together now: Less Parking! Louder! Louder!

Forget trying to be like Neponsit. Rockaway Park and Belle Harbor are aiming to be Park Slope-where finding a parking spot is a sport and a way of life.

According to The Wave, the Belle Harbor Property Owners Association, the Rockaway Park version (of which I'm a dues-paying member) and the Community Board all backed the idea of the garden median on The Boule vard. And they all thought it best to have No Parking along said boulevard. The idea was to make the boulevard as pretty as possible. (Of course, they said "No Parking" was a safety issue.

They said parking would mean one less traffic lane and congestion could slow ambulances or fire companies. Fair enough-though you wonder if putting the medians in the first place was a good idea as far as safety goes. With the medians now in place, park ed cars or no parked cars-try squeezing a fire truck past a bus on the boulevard. Without a median, fire trucks could sail along. Now? Uh-uh. Secon d ly, now with trees blocking sight lines you can expect more accidents as drivers turn onto the boulevard.

The push for No Parking is really about looks. Well-kept medians are pretty. But you gotta wonder if the un in tended consequences are gonna be worth the trouble. The neighborhoods of Belle Harbor and Rockaway Park are going to lose 13 blocks of parking. Say each block parks five cars on each side. That's 130 cars that will now have to be parked somewhere else. Where?

The beach blocks? Well, there's no parking now on the beach blocks. The only alternative is to shift into summer mode and start all that car key swapping. (Never fun; try moving cars in and out during the sub-zero weather we now get eight months a year).

I suppose many drivers will look for spots on the 200 blocks. Those blocks will fill up quickly. Now shared drives become a year round problem for all the blocks off the beach. (The shared drive issue is usually confined to the summer months when thereno parking allowed on weekends). It's a price many are willing to pay to keep the beaches and streets relatively private. But now, shared drives might have to be used all year. You drive home and suddenly you can't find a spot on your block. You might have to use the shared drive. Now you've got to ex change keys with your neighbor; you might have to move cars all year long. You hope your neighbor is easy to get along with. Or you can look for a spot on the next block. And then that block will have a parking headache.

So the medians look pretty. It's not going to be pretty when people start parking on their lawns or start paving them because parking is such a hassle.

Yeah, the medians look pretty; but the parking situation is about to get uglier.

Call Joe Addabbo (318-6411) and tell him you think parking should remain on the Boulevard-the way it has been for years. If you don't call, you've got no right to moan about it later! Call 318-6411. Right now. Thanks.

**Enjoyed Geraldine Chapey's answer to Howie Schwach is her column last week. If you didn't catch the controversy about "Father Coughlin" well, never mind. One thing I'll say, too bad she seemed to dismiss rumors of a political run. She'd have my vote against Bush. (And if she'd help on the parking, I'd elect her pope).

**Bo Dietl is short. Real short. Thought you'd want to know. Bo is the inspiration of a movie and book called "One Tough Cop," a regular on Imus and sometimes crime pundit seen on various cable shows. 'Til now you thought he was sitting down. Take it from this eyewitness, he's standing on his chair. Ray Kelly, the NYPD Commissioner? Short. Real short. I think Bloomberg towers over him. Former governor Hugh Carey? Tiny. Saw them all recently. Nothing against short people-some of my favorite dwarfs are short people. But ain't it the truth, celebrities are always smaller in person. Exception: James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano) and former City Councilman Al Stabile. What a name dropper I am.

**The Janet Jackson thing? Hey, I'm grateful it wasn't Michael showing his breast.

As for the Super Bowl-why not make it on the weekend of the Martin Luther King holiday? I need that Monday to sleep off my pool winnings.

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