Queens drivers are reaching deeper into their pockets — more often — to park around the borough
“I have to constantly feed the meter, when I can barely feed myself in this economy,” said Theresa Bulgosi as she shopped along Vernon Boulevard.
City motorists now get only 15 minutes for a quarter — $1 for an hour. The rates were raised as part of the city’s budget plan. The timing adjustments began in Queens this summer as new muni-meters were installed.
Many areas of Queens were already outfitted with muni-meters, but the city plans to replace all single space meters with muni-meters throughout the borough by June of next year.
The installation of muni-meters began in Forest Hills — parts of 71st Drive, 73rd Place, 80th and Selfridge Streets — and Middle Village — on Metropolitan Avenue from 69th Street to 74th Avenue – on Saturday, October 1.
Store owner Judy Zhu from Valuclean Cleaners on Bell Boulevard pays about four dollars a day in the muni-meters, which only lasts four hours, but that doesn’t stop her from getting tickets.
“In the past two weeks, I got three tickets. I went inside the cleaners to get change for the car and when I returned I already got a ticket for $35,” said Zhu.
Janet Akilov agreed and said, “It’s too expensive now and it makes me rush while shopping or eating,” while waiting for her muni-meter receipt to print in front of Kabul Kabob Restaurant on Main Street, Flushing.
Though drivers are incensed by increased rates, some see the advantages muni-meters provide – such as providing more parking spaces and accepting credit/debit cards.
“It’s nice not to have to carry around a pocketful of quarters around anymore just for meters,” said Thom Lee, a LaGuardia Community College student.
For those still partial to the single space meters, a request for proposal was issued for a vendor to sell the meters as memorabilia.