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Queens Chronicle

Pols seek DOT’s help on parking

Simotas and Gianaris seek angled parking on 14th Street for relief congestion

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Posted: Thursday, July 14, 2011 12:00 pm

If you live or park on 14th Street between 34th Avenue and 33rd Road in Long Island City, relief from a lack of parking spots and an excess of litter may be on its way.

In a letter dated June 27 to Department of Transportation Queens Commissioner Maura McCarthy, state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) and Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria) requested the establishment of angled parking spaces and the implementation of alternate-side parking on 14th Street.

As of now, there are limited spaces for the thousands of residents who live in the area. Adding to the problem is the parking required for trucks from the nearby Department of Sanitation facility.

Simotas, who remembers trying to park in the neighborhood during her campaign, can attest to the congestion: “If you do drive down that area, it’s nearly impossible to get a spot.”

Anthony Gigantiello, lifelong Astoria resident and president of the North Queensview Homes Co-op, said that while there is onsite parking for cooperative shareholders, “for people with more than one car there’s not enough room on the streets.” Gigantiello explained that “the block we’re requesting [parking] on is a cul-de-sac, so there’s no through traffic, whereas the other streets have through traffic.”

Simotas and Gianaris’ request for parking spaces and alternate-side parking originated with the North Queensview housing cooperative, which oversees seven 15-story buildings. “We really listen to the community residents who come to us and tell us about specific issues,” Simotas insisted.

Talking logistics, the assemblywoman said, “The thing with angled parking is it doesn’t work everywhere … the streets have to be sufficiently wide to accommodate them.” However, angled parking can fit almost 50 percent more cars than parallel parking.

“As Long Island City continues to develop, it is important that our infrastructure keeps pace,” Gianaris said in a press release. “I am hopeful DOT will acknowledge the rapid growth in this area and meet the growing parking needs so that LIC can continue attracting more residents, workers and businesses.”

The neighborhood has been growing rapidly because “it’s close to Manhattan, yet it has its own character,” Gianaris said. “It’s safe and it’s clean, and we want to keep it that way.”

To maintain the neighborhood’s cleanliness, Gianaris and Simotas are also asking for alternate-side parking on 14th Street, a measure that would combat the pollution and littering for which a high volume of drivers in the area are responsible. Gigantiello said that alternate-side parking would enable residents to sweep their curbs.

Now that the issue is in the DOT’s hands, Simotas anticipates the department will “probably have to do an analysis about how our request would affect the area, and whether it would be efficient, or create other problems.”

DOT Spokesman Montgomery Dean confirmed that the agency had received the politicians’ letter and had transferred their request for alternate-side parking to the Department of Sanitation, which supervises street cleaning operations.

To determine whether angled parking is feasible on 14th Street, the DOT will visit the site and evaluate its geometry and traffic volume.

Welcome to the discussion.