Parking meter proliferation alarms Bay Ridge residents
Parking meters are sprouting like ugly weeds in Bay Ridge, according to angry residents who charged that the city’s recent installation of muni-meters in their neighborhood is unfair.
The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) recently planted muni-meters on Third Avenue between 96th Street and Marine Avenue and on Fourth Avenue in the vicinity of 100th Street.
The new meters are encroaching on residential areas, residents charged.
One Bay Ridge resident has started a petition on www.change.org calling on DOT to remove the offending muni-meters.
“This area of Brooklyn already suffers from the lack of parking. Sometimes you spend hour or more looking for it. With the introduction of parking meters, there is going to be even less parking available for the people living in the area,” the petition reads.
The petition was started by a person identifying himself or herself by the initials AG.
The petition organizer is demanding that the meters be removed, or, at the very least, that public officials be mandated to provide an explanation as to why the meters were installed.
In addition, the petitioner is calling on the city to provide alternative free parking solutions for residents of the area.
“There’s really no need to have meters down in this area. It’s been without them forever, so why start now?! Is the city this desperate for money?” asked petition signer Deborah Kehn.
Another signer, Leanne Collado, called the new muni-meters disgusting.
“Now when people get home from work they have to worry about getting a ticket. I’m sure the city can come up with better ways of squeezing money out of the residents. They have become very good at it so far,” she wrote.
The muni-meter issue, which has hit neighborhoods all over the city, has caught the attention of the City Council.
Councilmember Rafael Salamanca Jr. (D-Bronx) introduced a bill on July 14 that would require DOT to notify the local council member and community board before installing parking meters at new locations so that the elected officials and community boards could have a chance to offer comments.
The bill, Intro 1234, has been referred to the council’s Transportation Committee for consideration.
Councilmember Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-parts of Bensonhurst) is a co-sponsor of the legislation.
Gentile also called for a moratorium on the installation and operation of additional parking meters in and around predominantly residential blocks.
“All the commercial strips already have meters, and when you extend meters to the predominantly residential blocks adjacent to these commercial areas, parking for residents becomes nearly impossible. DOT must be made to realize this and stop the ‘gotcha’ game of revenue collection that they play with residents,” Gentile said.
In the case of the new Bay Ridge muni-meters, however, Gentile admitted on Thursday that DOT had contacted him to advise him about the installations months ago.
“This morning I spoke with Brooklyn DOT Commissioner Keith Bray, and DOT had in fact emailed our office two notices about the prospective installation of muni-meters in this area: one in March of this year and one in May. The full scope of the new meter plan wasn’t evident unless the two communiqués from three months apart were put together. We agreed that there should be more efficient means of communication from all parties regarding the roll-out of muni-meters so that the information does not get lost in the shuffle,” Gentile said.
At press time, the DOT was looking into the parking meter controversy in order to prepare a response to the Brooklyn Eagle.
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