By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Here are three words any Bay Ridge resident with a car would love to hear: More parking spaces!
The idea of creating additional on-street spaces for cars in parking-starved Bay Ridge is a dream held by many motorists in the community.
Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst) said he has reached an agreement with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the New York City Department of Transportation that will open up dozens of additional parking spaces along Shore Road.
The spaces will be opened up by allowing drivers to park in bus stops where the X27 and X37 express buses stop along Shore Road, according to Gentile, who said the motorists will be able to park in those locations when the buses are not in service.
"I am very happy to report that my office has been able to successfully hammer out a deal with the MTA and the NYC Dept of Transportation's Bus Stop Management Unit making the X27/X37 bus stops open to residential parking during the hours when these buses are not in operation. This is a victory for common sense in an area where parking comes at an absolute premium,” Gentile said.
The changes will take effect over the next two weeks, Gentile said.
Justin Brannan, Gentile’s communications director, said some of the bus stops along Shore Road are 40 feet long “and you can fit two to three cars in that.” Still other bus stops are even longer, up to 80 feet long, and can accommodate four to five parked cars.
The parking plan only pertains to Shore Road bus stops, according to Brannan. “This is also unique for Shore Road because most express bus stops share bus stops with the regular buses. However, on Shore Road after the B16 turns off on 86th Street, most of the bus stops that remain are exclusively used for X27/X37 service,” he said.
Under the city’s regulations, it is not permissible to park at a bus stop.
State Sen. Marty Golden (R-Bay Ridge-southern Brooklyn) called the new development great news.
“After conversations and emails to both the Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Department of Transportation, parking in express bus stops during hours when the buses are not in service will again be
permitted!” he said.
Golden, who worked to restore weekend service on express buses, said he is pleased to see that local residents are being given a break when it comes to parking.
Residents frustrated with the lack of parking reached out to his office for help, Golden said.