2008-01-11 / Letters

Parking Anyone?

Dear Editor,

Recently I have been reading about how bad Beach 116 Street looks (I agree) and about some ideas of what should be done to improve it. Most recently a skyscraper! People what are you thinking? I was not surprised to read that the people who are for this are the same ones that would make money from it nor would I be surprised to find that the same people would not have to deal with the added problems that this would cause. One problem that we have in Rockaway, that is getting worse, is LACK OF PARKING. What if you were to build a parking garage? Clear out the area from what used to be the Lawrence Hotel all the way up to and including the old movie theater and build a four or five level parking garage similar to the ones that were built for the movie theater on Knapp Street in Brooklyn and most recently Green Acres near Macy's. Almost everyone in Rockaway has had a parking problem at one time or another, but the people from Beach 116 Street and west have it the worst. From May 15 to September 30, every year, there is no parking on the weekends or holidays and good luck if you want to invite people down to enjoy the beach during this time of the season. And what about the winter, some of the streets are so narrow that when we have a snow storm, by the time the plow gets down the street and blocks you in even more then you were in the first place, there is not much driving room. Have you noticed the parking lot at Walbaums? Every time you go there, there are less and less parking spots. But, when you go into Walbaums, there are not many people, so where are the people? Where do you think?

I think a parking garage would serve this area of the peninsula a lot better than a skyscraper. There could be a drawing for anyone that lives on and west of Beach 116 Street who would have to show proof of residence (driver's license, registration and insurance.) The first two levels would be for these people, they would have to buy a seasonal or yearly ticket at a resident discount price. The other levels would be for anyone visiting for the day or would just like to park and run some errands in the area without the worry of getting ticketed because they didn't get back to their car in time. What about when you want to have company down for the day or weekend, you may be able to. For anyone who would be getting a seasonal or yearly ticket they would also be able to buy a book of guest passes five to ten passes (at a discount price) for your guest' allowing them to park in your spot.

Winter time, they say we are going to be getting a snow storm, you could park in the garage for a day or two and it would solve two problems: 1) you would not have to deal with digging your car out numerous times and 2) less cars are on the street, the block will be plowed easier, allowing you to park there.

I live east of Beach 116 Street and have lived in Rockaway more than 40 years. I shop in the area but there are times such as in the summer that I will go elsewhere to shop because I know the chances of getting a parking spot are slim to none; unless I want to get there at 8 a.m. and wait for the stores, banks, etc., to open.

For those that say a parking garage would "look" terrible, I am sure that can be worked out, look how nice the waves are painted along Shore Front Park to blend the area. And what about jobs, this would bring some more jobs to the area for the young, the old and the retirees who could use a few dollars more in their pockets. This is just an idea that I thought I would throw out there for people of Rockaway who are looking to solve problems, not create more.

B. McCABE

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