2006-06-02 / Editorial/Opinion

Opinions

Parking All Day, Parking All Night: Destroying Local Shopping Streets

Those who attempted to find a parking space on either Beach 116 Street or Beach 129 Street last Sunday have a firm grasp on the problem. There was no place to park, not a space to be had and nobody was moving his or her car to make a space. While the Department of Transportation has remediated some of the problems it created on Beach 116 Street by promising to revert to the old parking meter hours of 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and to stagger the street cleaning hours to allow those who want to grab a cup of coffee and a Wave to park on at least one side of the street, the City Council, by passing its Sunday "Don't Pay To Go To Church" parking rules has harmed each and every store on our two local shopping streets. People who live nearby those two streets are pulling their cars into a slot when the meters expire on Saturday evening and leaving their cars in that slot until early Monday morning, just prior to the time that the meters go back into effect. With parking at a premium at any time during the summer, parking on the shopping streets frees up their driveways and gives them lots of options for visitors and moving around. What it does is impact the businesses on those streets because shoppers can no longer find a place to park and will not shop if they can't park. We pointed out this problem to City Councilman Joseph Addabbo, Jr., who voted for the measure, just after that vote. We were told that the plan had to run its course and, if it caused problems, it might be reconsidered in particular areas such as Rockaway for the following year. It does cause a problem and it may cost some owners their businesses if it is allowed to remain in place all summer. The plan might have a laudatory effect on most areas. In a beach shopping area, the plan is pure lunacy. Ask anybody who tried to park on a shopping street last Sunday. They will tell you.

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