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What a load! Ridgites mad over Fourth Avenue ‘No Parking’ zone

The Brooklyn Paper
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The city is slamming drivers with $100 tickets for parking in a Fourth Avenue “loading zone” during the day — even though some signs actually indicate that parking is legal!

The three-spot zone in question was set up in November in front of the new Goustaro market between 92nd and 93rd streets, where one sign reads, “Loading zone. No parking. 7 am–4 pm.”

Just underneath that sign is another sign which indicates that legal two-hour parking is in effect from 8:30 am–7 pm.

“They’re soaking people for 100 dollars — that the most expensive ticket you can get,” said Stan Lubowicki, who goes to a gym nearby and has watched drivers feed the meter, yet still get slapped with the city’s Scarlet Letter (which is actually blaze orange).

Other drivers are enraged because the loading dock is not even necessary.

“Goustaro is not a supermarket; there’s a million little stores around here and they don’t have loading zones,” said Marie Yemma. “I don’t know how they got it.”

Goustaro owner Ted Moustakas knows how he got it: He asked the city for it, and the city created it for him. And he said that the zone is vital because he gets deliveries several times a day. Without it, he said, truckers would double-park, risking tickets and causing tie-ups.

“Most grocery stores only get one delivery,” he said. “I have a bunch of distributo­rs.”

Moustakas said that he had initially requested that a loading zone be installed on 93rd Street, but the Department of Transportation put it on Fourth Avenue after getting complaints.

“It should have just been left on the side,” he said. “I’m the new guy on the block. I didn’t mean to start off on the wrong foot.”

This one small loading dock is a symbol of a much larger issue in the neighborhood, where parking is in short supply.

“We should at least be notified when a loading zone is going in,” said Community Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann, who objected to the city’s murky method for awarding loading zones. “We would like to hear what the criteria is.”

A city spokesman said that the agency reviews every loading dock to decide if it is necessary.

“We review loading activity in the area to determine if a new zone could help alleviate congestion and reduce double parking,” said Transportation spokesman Monty Dean.

“We are happy to work with the community to address any questions or concerns.”

Reach reporter Dan MacLeod at dmacleod@cnglocal.com or by calling him at (718) 260-4507. You can also follow his Tweets at @dsmacleod.

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Reader Feedback

trans alt from my bike says:
NYC finally has a mayor that knows cars should be banned, but since that's not possible YET, car owners will be ticketed, and vandalized until they give up the polluting relics. Keep up the good work.
Dec. 1, 2011, 9 am
ty from pps says:
REALLY!!? In what dim reality is parking legal?! If you can't figure this out, you shouldn't be operating a motor vehicle. You're a danger to yourself and others.

That sign CLEARLY reads "No Standing Except Trucks, 7am - 4pm" -- The arrow says this applies to one side of the sign. The 2-hour parking sign applies to the WHOLE block. Guess what, genius? From 4pm to 7pm -- 2-hour parking is in effect.

Again, go to the DMV and turn over your driver's license.

Guess what -- it's also illegal to park in bicycle lanes and on sidewalks.
Dec. 1, 2011, 9:53 am
D from Queens says:
Sounds like the city has found a way to prevent trucks from double parking and unloading stuff in the middle of the street. And though you didn't spell it out, it seems strange that you interviewed someone who drives to a gym. Did I somehow miss the transformation of Bay Ridge into L.A.?
Dec. 1, 2011, 10:02 am
Burns from Ditmas Park says:
D -- Lately this "paper" has decided to spend a lot of time focusing on the needs and complaints of the sad, cranky, irrational, nutjobs of Bay Ridge. They "journalists" must all live down there and it's really easy to just roll out of bed, find a crotchety old man outside their apartment... ask them "What grinds your gears?" Write a 400-word essay and e-mail it to the "editor" who apparently gave up on quality and integrity about 20 years ago. That's how it works.

I think they get a bonus if they can twist the story to harm a local small business or vilify the city government. This article accomplished both, so that might be worth a triple bonus!
Dec. 1, 2011, 10:32 am
S from PPW says:
Is everyone in Bay Ridge this cranky or is it just a function of owning a car and not being able to read?
Dec. 1, 2011, 11:37 am
Dave from Park Slope says:
Stan, scrap the car, scrap the gym membership, buy a bike, problem solved!

So how easy that was?
Dec. 1, 2011, 12:09 pm
Joe Blow from Bay Ridge says:
The Brooklyn Paper just goes out of its way to find morons to interview and BS stories to publish.
Dec. 1, 2011, 1:02 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
The sign on top clearly states that it ends at 4 PM on just about every day except Sunday. It doesn't say that it goes all the way through 7 PM. However, I don't know why the sign for meter parking has a double sided arrow when there are probably no meters there unless that happens to be a muni-meter. Perhaps, it would make more sense if the sign for the metered parking would be changed to a single sided arrow to make it more understandable. BTW, the attack on those who drive is very insulting especially when it comes from bike zealouts.
Dec. 1, 2011, 9:49 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- I find most things you say very insulting....
Dec. 2, 2011, 10:08 am
M from Denmark says:
Erika's dad?!?
Dec. 3, 2011, 1:48 pm
JL from Bay Ridge says:
This guy definitely should have been able to decipher that parking in front of the sign where the arrow is pointing to NO STANDING would result in a ticket. I would err on the side of caution if a sign seems misleading.

As to trans alt from my bike's comment about banning cars and some other postings about bikes as an alternative to cars, I say, only in some situations is the viable. How do you propose bringing your child to day care with a bicycle?
Dec. 5, 2011, 2:19 pm
Daquan13 from East Boston says:
Tal, are you always this crazy or where you born that way? Sheesh, I've seen turtles with thinner shells than that lump of concrete that passes for your skull. Quit fantasizing about licking the sweaty crotches of WNBA athletes and stick to what you know best, which is either nothing or Hamas.

-Shermie
Jan. 17, 2012, 5:13 pm

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