2005-08-18 / Front Page

Public Meeting On Beach 116 St. Parking

Community Board 14’s Transportation Committee will hold an emergency meeting during the first week of September to discuss the two parking plans being batted around for Beach 116 Street, according to Jonathan Gaska, the board’s district manager.

Gaska said the committee is holding a meeting because it wants to hear from the public and business owners before it makes a recommendation to the full board when it meets on Tuesday, September 13.

CB14 wants to be able to weigh in with their support of one of two plans; the city is looking to roll ahead with a project to reconfigure parking on the busy, mixed-use street right after Labor Day, according to the Department of Design and Construction.

A representative from the Department of Transportation, the lead agency in the planning phase, will be on hand, according to Gaska.

The Wave reported last week that – in tandem with the construction of a memorial to victims in the crash of Flight 587 to be located at the south end of the street, the zigzag concrete median would be removed.

At issue is what should replace the zig zag, which traps dirt, blocks mechanical street sweepers and torments pedestrians and motorists alike. Beach 116 Street visitors, business owners and residents have long decried the concrete and cobblestone fixture.

One of the new plans calls for a 10-foot traditional median with parallel parking on both sides and along the sidewalk curbs. Last week’s Wave story reported that painted lines would demarcate parking spaces, but new information suggests that that is not the case.

The street would have about 121 spaces under the first plan, based on a conservative allowance of 22-feet per car. With most modern automobiles smaller from bumper to bumper, the street could have as many as 130 or 135 spaces, Gaska said. Muni-meters would be located in several locations along the street.

Some critics, including some Beach 116 Street storeowners, say parallel parking will make receiving deliveries difficult and want the width of the median reduced. It was originally supposed to be 12 feet wide and it has already been reduced to 10 feet, sources said.

The competing design would eliminate the existing median and put angled, nose-in parking along the sidewalk curbs only with painted markings to guide traffic and lines to demarcate parking spots. The configuration would create just one new parking spot, according to estimates.

Critics of the nose-in design say delivery trucks will still park parallel at the curb, which will block several spots at one time.

“There are a lot of things that have to be discussed,” said Gaska. And, if the median design wins, a question over trees and light fixtures arises.

Gaska said the current “Cobra Head” streetlights will be replaced with twin-arm fixtures known as “Flatbush Avenue Poles.” The latter allow for plants to hung from them, which could be an option if the trees are removed.

The Transportation Committee will meet at the Beach Club on Beach 116 Street on September 6 at 7:30 p.m., according to Gaska. Each member of the audience will have the opportunity to voice up “unless 1,000 people show up,” he said.

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