Queens, NY, December 8, 2010 -- Showing solidarity with the stance taken by The
    Woodhaven Residents' Block Association in their December 7 press release, NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., whose district includes Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, Ozone Park, Howard Beach, Forest Hills, Ridgewood, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth and parts of other Queens areas all having commercial strips, now adds his strong objection to the upcoming increase in parking meter rates.  Starting January 3, 2011, a quarter will buy 15 minutes at a parking meter, rather than 20 minutes, the second time in less than two years that the Department of Transportation (DOT) has increased meter rates.  As recently as spring of 2009, a quarter bought 30 minutes at a parking meter.

    "I expect this rate increase will hurt the businesses on Jamaica, Liberty, Myrtle,
    Metropolitan, Grand and Continental Avenues, Crossbay and Rockaway Boulevards, all lined with parking meters. It will also result in more parking tickets for residents
    and other consumers who, instead of boosting their local small businesses, will
    drive out of these areas to malls with parking lots to avoid such parking harassment.

    "This is a bad decision by DOT that will hurt working families and the middle
    class the most, like my district residents, who already are being nickel-and-dimed
    enough at the gas pump, the grocery store, on mass transit and the post office,
    and who must park on our streets as they drive around Queens, the largest New York
    City borough," said Addabbo.

    "How do all the parking ticket and meter fees collected by DOT get spent -- do
    New Yorkers get any benefit out of all the money that's collected from parking
    offenders?  If DOT will not reconsider this rate hike being imposed right after
    the holiday season, I would urge the agency to at least post signs this time,
    informing everyone of the change," added the Senator.  In 2009, after the last
    rate increase, many drivers were caught by surprise because the DOT did not post
    any warnings of the price hike.

    "At a time when everyone feels their wallets can't take any more hits, does the
    city and DOT really want to punish small mom-and-pop shops and hurt local commercial strips already reeling across New York City?  I'd like to work with other local electeds, other local BIDs like Woodhaven's, more civic organizations and block
    associations in Queens -- to take our borough's opposition to such an annoying
    parking meter increase right to the doorstep of City Hall in Manhattan. That’s
    a much smaller borough, where vehicles and their drivers have not been welcome
    for some time," commented Addabbo.

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