Open Meet On RBB ‘No Parking Anytime’
Should they stay or should they go?The clash over the “No Parking Anytime” signs on Rockaway Beach Boulevard – from Beach 125 to Beach 128 Streets – will go before Community Board 14’s Transportation Committee at a special open meeting on June 1, CB14 District Manager Jonathan Gaska announced this week.
The “sunshine” meeting comes after the Department of Transportation’s Traffic Planning Division conducted a field investigation of the area and “found that [DOT] would be able to restore parking” if “there is community consensus for this change,” according to a letter dated May 11 from DOT Queens Borough Commissioner Constance Moran to CB14 Chairperson Delores Orr.
The committee will weigh the issue and make a recommendation to the full board, perhaps as early as the next monthly meeting, which will not take place on June 14 but at a later date in June, said Gaska. The monthly meeting is being rescheduled to accommodate a mandatory vote on a separate issue, he said.
The hot debate over the future of the “No Parking Anytime” signs was among the top issues at last week’s meeting of Rockaway Park Homeowner’s/Residents Inc.
The group’s president, Ed Re, said a door-to-door poll in the affected area show strong support – 80 to 4 – in favor of keeping the “No Parking Anytime” signs.
“From going door-to-door there’s no contest; the people don’t want those signs touched,” he railed. Re went on to accuse The Wave of being one-sided in its coverage of the issue.
Others in the audience questioned the methodology of Re’s poll or argued that the decision-making should not remain solely with the property owners or residents of the affected area.
Bolstering Re’s position at the association meeting was Fran Stathis, a Beach 128 Street resident who is a strong supporter of the ban on parking.
“In speaking with residents, I found that safety, for themselves and their children, is the number one concern for keeping ‘No Parking Anytime,’” Stathis wrote this week in a letter sent to The Wave and others. “Is gaining a few parking spots worth risking our safety and more importantly, our children’s,” she asked.
So passionate were those on both sides of the argument at the association meeting that many vented their opinions in side conversations. In fact, the back-and-forth continued even after the end of the meeting was signaled.
Daniel Ruscillo, a Beach 124 Street resident who has spearheaded the opposition to the parking ban, skipped the association meeting but is urging people to attend the CB14 meeting next week.
“All in favor of the seasonal parking being returned have to show up,” he told The Wave Wednesday. “This is it.”
Commissioner Moran, who was the featured guest at last week’s meeting, said the DOT recently filled about 340 potholes on the peninsula and confirmed that a redesign of the parking median on Beach 116 Street is underway. “It will be redesigned in a way that it won’t be treacherous for people walking on it,” she said.
Moran remarked on the meeting’s strong turnout and urged people to attend CB14’s special meeting, which will be held in the Beach Club’s Atlantis Room on Wednesday, June 1, 7:30 p.m.