Many residents of Hunters Point, the most southwest portion of Long Island City, voiced concern over new street sweeping regulations proposed last Wednesday during a community meeting at MoMA PS 1. At the top of their lists — increased parking complications in an already congested area.
“The people of Manhattan will also be very disappointed because they use our neighborhood as a parking lot,” said a frustrated resident, referring to commuters who drive to LIC to park and then take the subway easily over the river.
However, as pointed out by Community Board 2 Chairman Joe Conley, these regulation are being proposed by CB 2 along with the Department of Sanitation because of an increased need for cleaning and in response to requests from other community members.
Conley reminded the crowd that this is just the proposal stage of the process.
DOS Deputy Chief Steven Cimino cited the need is there because of high pedestrian traffic; a growing nightlife in the area that brings cigarette butts and street garbage; and complaints directly from residents asking to improve conditions.
Cimino went on to note that implementing restricted parking twice a week, depending what side your vehicle is parked on, would allow the DOS to keep the streets of Hunters Point cleaner. The boundaries are: 45th Avenue to the north, Jackson Avenue to the east, Borden Avenue to the south and the water to the west, according to DOS supervisor E. Robertazzi said.
The proposed street cleaning regulations will go into effect for 90 minutes on Wednesdays and Thursdays north of 47th Road from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and south of 47th Road from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on those same days. The south and east sides of the streets will be cleaned on Wednesdays and north and west sides will be cleaned on Thursdays. This means that if drivers always park in the same spot they would only need to move their car once a week.
Roadways in front of meters will be swept on Wednesdays and Thursdays in 30-minute segments on 7:30 to to 9 a.m.
The DOS pointed out that Borden Avenue would be the one exception to this proposed street cleaning plan. That thoroughfare will continue to be swept under the Department of Transportation’s regulation guideline of 6 to 8 a.m.
“I am very opposed to the idea of introducing alternate-side parking here,” Hunters Point resident of 33 years, Nigel Rollings, read from a prepared statement.
As a car owner for the majority of the time he’s lived in Western Queens, Rollings, who is “certain” he speaks for others in the community, said the regulations are “grossly counter-productive” and cited issues with the times proposed. He believes many vehicle owners will be working during the afternoon street sweeping of 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will be unable to move their cars.
“What would really benefit this neighborhood right now and for the future is a Municipal parking lot with plentiful affordable parking,” Rollings added.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), who co-sponsored this meeting along with Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan (D-Sunnyside), CB2 and Hunters Point Community Development Corporation, reiterated Conley’s opening remarks regarding the status of these DOS regulations.
“This is not a done deal, that’s why we had this meeting,” Van Bramer said, advocating support.