DOT not extending parking meter times 1

The time on MuniMeters on Bell Boulevard in Bayside will remain one hour.

The Department of Transportation has no plans extend the times on MuniMeters in Bayside right now, according to a spokesman.

“DOT has no current plans to extend parking meter times in Bayside from 1 hour to 4 hours, either on street or within the off-street parking facility,” the spokesman, who preferred to not be named, told the Queens Chronicle in an email.

Bayside is rife with parking problems, and civic groups have previously engaged in talks with the transportation agency about the issue.

But even if changed MuniMuter durations are not used to solve Bayside’s issues with parking, there are other possible options that the DOT could use to help fight them. Aside from changing meter duration, the spokesman told the Chronicle, there other “tools within DOT’s portfolio” to reduce parking problems in the neighborhood. Those include adjusting the operation hours to meet nighttime demand and changing the meter rates.

However, the spokesman did say the DOT “is open to continued dialogue with the Bayside BID on ways to improve area parking.”

The Transportation Department recently participated in a study commissioned and funded by the Bayside Business Improvement District that analyzed opportunities for off-street and street parking in the area. Extending the MuniMeter duration from one to four hours was found to be a possible solution.

Lyle Sclair, the executive director of the Bayside BID, is not particularly upset by the announcement.

“With everything, there’s a positive and negative,” he told the Chronicle. “Some people will complain.”

According to Sclair, a new program that the City Council passed to make paying MuniMeters possible on a mobile phone could be a reason for optimism. In his State of the City address this month, Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed that by the end of 2016, all New Yorkers will be able to pay for MuniMeters with their smartphone.

A pilot study of the program in the Bronx’s Belmont neighborhood indicated that it would be successful.

“The merchants loved it,” Sclair said. “It resulted in increased convenience for shoppers.” q

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