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Queens Chronicle

Illegal parking spurs resident safety fears

Business patrons, delivery trucks flout signs in Maspeth-Woodside

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Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 10:30 am

If one works at or patronizes a business on Queens Boulevard between 61st and 64th streets on the Maspeth-Woodside border, you might say the nearby parking is inconvenient.

A curbside section of 61st Street south of the boulevard is reserved for delivery trucks from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. The full block between 61st and 64th is a no-standing zone including a city bus stop. Turn southbound onto 64th and there are spaces clearly marked with a large sign for firefighters assigned to FDNY’s Rescue Co. 4 and Engine Co. 292, a half block to the east on the boulevard.

Resident Regina Massaro, however, says the clearly posted signs are routinely ignored by workers and customers of the block’s dollar store, liquor store, coffee shop and pizza takeout restaurant, creating inconvenience and potential hazards.

“Deliveries are made on Queens Blvd. instead of around the corner at allocated space and also drivers park illegally all day in the truck parking,” Massaro told the Chronicle in one of two emails.

She said the delivery trucks that can’t or don’t use the truck zone often force buses to stop in the only available travel lane on the eastbound service road — “since they put that bike lane in” — and that customers for all the businesses routinely stand in the bus stop or the no-standing zones fronting all the businesses.

She said she has seen emergency vehicles held up in the service lane because of that.

But the thing that concerns her the most, she said, is when drivers park or stand illegally in the spaces reserved for firefighters, forcing them to sometimes park their vehicles on the main section of Queens Boulevard.

Early- and late-morning visits by the Chronicle over two days last week confirmed Massaro’s complaints.

On Thursday, a row of vehicles with FDNY placards was on Queens Boulevard, though a return Friday morning found only firefighters’ vehicles in the FDNY zone.

But Friday’s check back also found a car parked in the delivery trucks’ loading zone on 61st for the duration of the visit; a FedEx truck unloading on Queens Boulevard directly in front of a “No Standing” sign; and numerous cars parked or standing there and in the firefighters’ spaces on 64th as someone ran into one of the businesses.

Massaro has been in touch multiple times with the office of Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside). The councilman told the Chronicle in an email that he and his staff are on the case.

“Illegal parking is a rampant problem in our precinct,” he wrote. “It becomes especially dangerous when drivers park in spaces that are reserved for our first responders. The FDNY has enough to worry about on a daily basis. They should not have to worry about parking on Queens Boulevard. I will continue to call upon the NYPD to crack down upon all forms of illegal parking in our district and across Queens.”

Van Bramer enclosed a copy of a letter he wrote to Harjinder Singh of the NYPD’s Queens North Traffic Enforcement Command laying out his and Massaro’s concerns.

Officials from the FDNY did not respond to a request for comment prior to the Chronicle’s deadline on Wednesday.

Welcome to the discussion.