More parking pains on Bay Parkway

September 24, 2011 Denise Romano
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Parking is one hot commodity.

Nearby residents fear that the Calko Medical Center, thenine-story building now under construction on Bay Parkway at 60thStreet, will eat up too many of the neighborhood’s already scarceparking spots. There are three schools and a church within twoblocks of the state-of-the-art medical facility: P.S. 226, St.Athanasius Church and School, and Bishop Kearney High School.

As of now, the facility will provide 235 parking spaces within,but that may change. The developer, Marcal Group, applied for aspecial permit to the Board of Standards and Appeals to reduce thenumber of spaces to 120, which Community Board 12 unanimouslydisapproved.

It’s going to be a problem, especially for teachers, saidMarie Mammoliti, who lives a block away and is PTA president ofP.S. 226. Teachers have limited space to park and I’m concernedthis will make things worse. They should make a better plan.

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Wolf Sender, district manager of CB 12 added, The board feltthat it will affect parking and they voted against it. They cameout strongly.

But although the community does not want it, the board’s vote isonly advisory, and the Boards of Standards and Appeals can stillgrant the permit if they see fit.

Mark Caller, chief executive of the Marcal Group attested,Despite the fact that we have three independent parking studiesthat all conclude that our parking plan is adequate and will notnegatively impact parking in the area, we are still working on acompromise that will enable us to build a functional building andhave more parking spaces than the studies believe arenecessary.

He added that not a single study has been found to supportclaims that the center is going to take up too many parking spacesand cause more traffic. Parking anywhere in the city is a verysensitive issue and any reduction whatsoever would be greeted byenormous opposition, as is the case with our effort, hecontended.

Councilmember David Greenfield still opposes the plan. It’s afact of life in that neighborhood that residents need to circle theblock several times to find a legal parking spot at any time of theday, Greenfield explained in a statement. A medical facility byits very nature attracts hundreds of patients at all hours. Takingaway parking from a facility like that is reckless. The developerof this facility has a responsibility to relieve the parkingproblem, not add to it.

Phillis Micillo, a parishioner at St. Athanasius, agreed. Thisis not a neighborhood where parking is so feasible, she said,noting that she does not know where all the employees will park.It’s just not logical – this is a tremendous facility. I eventhink they will have pre-authorized parking for doctors.

Joey S., also of Bensonhurst, said residents nearby will havedifficulty. Not everyone has one car around here, he said. Afamily of five usually has four cars. There’s just not enoughparking.

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