Good For Motorists, But Not For Rockaway Businesses
The City Council voted 41-3 to remove the requirement that motorists activate parking meters on Sundays. That is good news for motorists, who no longer have to pop quarters into the pesky meters to park on Sunday. It is not good news, however, for those who own stores and businesses that are open on that day – particularly in shopping areas that are nearby beaches as are our west end shopping streets. For those businesses mostly on Beach 116 Street, Beach 129 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard, no metered parking on Sunday means fewer customers and more hassles. Liz Hanna of Brown’s Hardware perhaps said it best. “There will be no parking available for customers of any of the stores on the block during the summer months,” Hanna told The Wave. “Not only will beachgoers grab the spaces and stay all day, but residents of nearby streets will park their cars Saturday night and leave them there until Monday morning.” She is right. Surprisingly, neither the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce nor City Councilman Joseph Addabbo, who voted for the meter ban, seems concerned. “The peninsula has several different business districts and the business owners I’ve spoken with are generally okay [with doing away with Sunday meters],” Chamber of Commerce spokesperson Joanie Omeste said. Addabbo said that he voted for the plan “to give something back to the people.” He added that he would push for an exemption for Rockaway streets should it become a problem for business interests. The City Council Introduction (its version of a bill) passed last week and will be vetoed by Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who is concerned that it will cost the city between $7 and $12 million a year in lost revenue. The Council will then override the mayor’s veto. In any case, the new law will not have an impact until next summer. Let’s hope by then something will be worked out to give west end business owners centering around Beach 116 Street and Beach 129 Street a break by exempting those shopping areas from the new law.