Sunnyside leaders want city to reconsider parking rules

Michael Gianaris

August 15, 2011

Queens Times Ledger wrote about the need for revised parking regulations in Sunnyside, which would alleviate much of the congestion and make it easier for residents to travel through their neighborhood streets.

Sunnyside business owners and western Queens officials want the city Department of Transportation to change the parking rules along Queens Boulevard, saying the rules benefit commuters at the expense of local businesses.

Ciaran Staunton, who opened the pub and coffee shop Molly Blooms at Queens Boulevard near 43rd Street in Sunnyside in March, said his morning business has been hindered because of a no-standing rule on the boulevard from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. between 39th and 49th streets Monday through Friday.

He said between this rule and the 12-hour parking spots beneath the No. 7 train, which are often taken up by commuters leaving their cars and taking the subway to Manhattan, shoppers have no place to park in the morning.

“Both parking issues have had an enormous negative affect on the ability of Sunnyside residents to shop in Sunnyside,” Staunton said.

The DOT uses imposes the rule to facilitate the flow of traffic during rush hour by allowing motorists to use the fifth lane, which would normally be taken up by parked cars.

State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria), who wrote a letter to DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan June 23 requesting that the no standing rule end at 8 a.m., said the rush-hour traffic is largely done after that time.

“If someone is driving through Sunnyside at 9 a.m., they’re already late for work,” Gianaris said.

Gianaris also requested that the parking spots beneath the No. 7 train be reduced to four hours. He said parking regulations should be sensitive to the changing community’s needs.

“Sunnyside is a great and growing community that is seeing new, young families move in by the day,” Gianaris said.

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