Six-day-a-week restriction is too much, residents say
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Residents living along New Utrecht Avenue in Bensonhurst are having a tough time finding parking spaces for their cars because of strict regulations imposed by the city – rules that residents said are unnecessary.
Gabriel Ingrassia said he and other residents want the city to ease up on alternate side of the street parking rules them and allow them to park on New Utrecht Avenue. “We want a reprieve from the very harsh parking restrictions,” Ingrassia, a nurse, told Community Board 11 members at the board’s meeting on Nov. 14.
Ingrassia said he attended the community board meeting to ask for the board’s help in convincing the Department of Transportation (DOT) to remove the restriction.
How bad is it? It’s pretty bad, according to Ingrassia.
Parking is prohibited six days a week from 6:30-7 a.m. on New Utrecht Avenue between 79th and 84th streets. The exception is Sunday, when parking is permitted.
“Six days a week is really tough on us. People here really don’t want it. It has been imposed on us,” Ingrassia said.
Residents can’t leave their cars parked on the avenue overnight, unless they want to rush out of their houses at the crack of dawn to move their vehicles before 6:30 to avoid getting tickets.
The restriction was put in a few years ago by the DOT at the request of Community Board 11 so that the avenue, which is located beneath the elevated tracks of the D subway line, could be cleaned by the Department of Sanitation more often.
At the time the request was made, the avenue had a rodent infestation problem that community board leaders and residents blamed on a Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) project to repair the subway stanchions.
The repair project was completed and the rats went away, Ingrassia said. “There is no longer a rat problem on New Utrecht Avenue,” he said.
Since the six-day-a-week parking restriction was put in to address a problem, and that problem is no longer there, the parking rules should be lifted, Ingrassia and other residents said.
More than 200 people signed a petition circulated by Ingrassia calling on DOT to ease up.
It’s not just a problem on New Utrecht Avenue, according to residents, who said the situation ha a ripple effect on the surrounding blocks. “If we can’t park on New Utrecht, we park on other streets. People who would normally park on those streets get bumped out of those spots by us. They have to hunt for parking spaces on other blocks,” one resident told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
But Ingrassia and his neighbors are facing resistance from city officials. “We’ve been reaching out to a lot of people and we’ve been getting shot down,” he said.
The community board didn’t shoot down Ingrassia’s request. But the board didn’t embrace it, either. Board Chairman Bill Guarinello said he would refer the matter to the board’s transportation committee for further study. “We will try to work with it,” he assured Ingrassia.