2009-11-13 / Editorial/Opinion

Time To Take A Look At The Dreaded Parking Problem

The only residents who don't believe that there is a west end parking problem, particularly during the summer months, are those with long driveways and few cars. Everybody else suffers, from those who want to rent apartments to those who want to host friends for a beach party, to the owners of the stores on Beach 129 and Beach 116 Streets, small business people who see their customer's fading away and going elsewhere because there is no place to park. We have a simple solution. The city should bring resident-only parking to the streets of Rock away Park. We say Rockaway Park not be - cause it is the only community with the problem, but it is a good place to start. It is clear that the no parking rules on all but the beach blocks in that community were drawn decades ago not out of a need for safety, but to keep outsiders away from the beaches. Those blocks are no less safe in the winter, when parking is permitted on weekends, than they are in the summer, when parking is not permitted. We believe that residents would pay a fee to park in front of their homes during the summer. The city should recognize the problem and the solution and offer "Res - idents Only" parking on Rock away Park streets during the summer months. And, those no parking regulations should be in force for the summer months only - Memorial Day to Labor Day, not May 15 to September 30. We are sure that residents would pay a small fee for a sticker that would allow them parking rights. When Mayor Bloomberg first pushed his congestion pricing plan, he told the neighborhoods on the edge of the zone that they could have residents only park ing. That plan fell through, but the idea of resident only parking lives on. Why not in Rock - away, where we really need it in place before May 15 of 2010.

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In reference to your opinion I would like to bring your attention some concerns. In fairness you may not have fully thought out. The parking rules in the west end of Rockaway abeit a inconvience serve a greater good.

There was a time nearly 30 years ago when the parking rules were not as strict. The culture was slower paced and families did not own as many vehicles. The quality of life for the residents were impeded by DFD's creating a parking shortage. Make no mistake your proposal will bring about a dynamic that will affect the community culture and our cherished beaches.

I am sorry you have rented or purchased a property that will not allow you to park in the driveway. But there are solutions, friends neighbors, churches and public parking, fewer cars (going green is ALWAYS good). Prior ot moving to Rockaway my family lived in Brooklyn. I have no desire to deal with parking issues on the scale of Brooklyn residents.

As for the detriment to local businesses. You surely must be joking. Most of the locals shop at B129st and walk during the summer weekends. For major purchases there is a major shopping Center on beach channel drive.

Just some items to considered before you begin pontificating on a subject that has a long history. You are entitled to your opinion but please explore the other side of the debate.


Rob Hughes

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