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Whitestone Merchants Demand More Business District Parking Lack Of Space Is Driving Business Away

Lack Of Space Is Driving Business Away
Last Monday, local merchants met with Councilman Michael Abel who has battled for expanded parking facilities during the past seven years. They told him that lack of parking spaces, not only resulted in lost business for merchants, but in lost tax revenue for the City, as well.
The Queens Courier has learned that a potential 41-space parking lot, with an entrance on 14 Ave., is currently available.
Citing the municipal parking lots already constructed in nearby Bayside, College Point, and Flushing, the businessmen asked for the construction of a municipal parking lot and for installation of a muni-meter system to replace the district’s 130 meters.
During the past decade, C.B. 7’s Transportation Committee has reported that shortage of parking space had caused Whitestone’s three-pronged traffic dilemma: serious traffic congestion, residents to seek more convenient shopping areas, and impacted movement of emergency police, fire, and ambulance services. As a result, C.B. 7 has made construction of a municipal lot a high priority in its current budget demands.
An estimated 120 local businesses have been affected by the space shortage. They range from general merchandise stores, restaurants, and bagel bakeries, to such professional offices as medical, dental, and accounting practitioners. One 1992 report said that a surprising 10.5 percent of these enterprises earned more than one million dollars annually.
C.B. 7’s District Manager Marilyn Bitterman has already requested the introduction of a muni-meter system in Whitestone Village in order to provide additional curb space for shoppers.
Joel Heller, a long-time Whitestone druggist said that merchants and professionals in the shopping area needed adequate parking "to maintain and increase our business potential." Heller said that Whitestone merchants have been trying to get a municipal parking lot since 1982.
A study conducted by C.B. 7 showed that local customers were parking their cars on Clintonville St. in order to shop in the 14 Ave. stores.
Heller pointed to the construction of new homes and apartments, as well as the opening of new businesses in Whitestone as evidence of an expanded need for additional parking spaces to mitigate growing local congestion.
There are currently 130 metered spaces on 14 Ave., 149 St., and along adjacent side streets to accommodate hundreds of short term daily parkers. Motorists requiring longer than one hour parking, park as many as five blocks away from the shopping hub.

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