Call it pay-to-park politics.
Bay Ridgites are demanding the city remove parking meters it installed over previously free parking. The Department of Transportation put in a total five paid spots along four mostly commercial strips, but critics say parking is already tight for area residents, and this is just another example of the city putting the squeeze on Ridgites.
“There already are less spaces,” said local Jennifer Jansen. “Between meters, poorly placed fire hydrants, illegal driveways, and dumpsters that never seem to disappear, there’s no place to park.”
The transportation department installed the meters at the behest of local businesses that wanted faster turnover so spaces would be more readily available for shoppers, an agency spokesman said.
There were no meters on the blocks before, according to said Community Board 10 district manager Josephine Beckmann.
In response to area drivers’ outrage, Councilman Vincent Gentile (D–Bay Ridge) called for an immediate moratorium on installing parking meters around residential blocks until the city improves community outreach ahead of putting in the new meters.
The Department of Transportation sent Gentile two letters announcing the new paid parking, but the missives were so unclear that even the agency’s borough commissioner agreed the notification system is flawed, Gentile said.
“The full scope of the new meter plan wasn’t evident unless the two communiqués from three months apart were put together,” Gentile said. “[Borough commissioner Keith Bray and I] 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.”
— with Max Jaeger