2006-01-20 / Editorial/Opinion

A Favor From The DOT That Will Cost Residents $

When the Muni-meters were removed from Beach 116 Street in September to make way for the reconfiguration and reconstruction of the critical shopping street, most Rockaway residents cheered the city’s plan to do away with the dirty and restrictive parking boxes. While there was lots of talk from the Department of Transportation (DOT) about increased safety, a cleaner street and more parking spaces, there was never, at least in our memory, talk about increasing the cost of parking on the street. That is why it came as something of a shock when we looked at one of the new meters that was recently put into place on the street and we noticed that the cost of parking is now twenty-five cents for twenty minutes rather than twenty-five cents for a half-hour, the cost of the meters prior to the reconstruction project. While the raise is small, seventy-five cents for an hour rather than fifty cents, the cost will add up over a year of parking and will surely drive shoppers elsewhere, especially to the malls in Brooklyn and Nassau County, where parking is most often free. We understand that the city was under no obligation to ask Rockaway about the increase in the cost of parking, but it would have been nice had the agency told us that it was coming. In addition, costs have gone up at the meters in the Muni-meter Lot as well. What once cost three dollars to park for the entire day will now cost four. The city said that it was doing Rockaway a favor by reconstructing the street as part of the project to build a memorial for the victims of American Airlines Flight 587 at the south end of the street. That favor will turn out to cost all of the residents of the west end more money in the long run.

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