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Muni-Meters Dot Bell Boulevard – QNS.com

Muni-Meters Dot Bell Boulevard

The city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) began a project to replace single-space parking meters with new Muni-Meters in Bayside.
The meters will run along Bell Boulevard and its adjacent streets from 35th Avenue to 45th Road as well as on Northern Boulevard from 210th to 215th streets.
DOT plans to replace almost 375 existing single-space meters with 72 Muni-Meters at intervals along sidewalks in the respective areas, and is aiming to finish the project by the end of September.
“Muni-Meters are a great parking innovation,” DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall said. “They increase the number of available parking spaces and will open up the sidewalks along Bell Boulevard.”
drivers will benefit from the increased available parking spaces, some Bayside business owners are also excited about advantages the new meters may provide.
“Hopefully it’s not a bad idea if they can get some more spots on the block,” said Mike Virgilio from Pete and Sons Paint and Hardware store on 36th Avenue and Bell Boulevard. Virgilio, whose family has owned the store since 1947, hopes customers will be the people who utilize the extra spaces.
“It might be a good idea if they can fit small cars because sometimes there is empty space,” [between metered spots] said Dolores Rodriguez, an employee at nearby Peggy’s Custom Framing.
However, not all business people in the area believe that Muni-Meters are a good idea or the answer to the parking situation on Bell Boulevard.
“It’s 101 percent a bad idea,” said Lioumbas Spiros who has owned Bell Formal Wear, Inc. on 38th and Bell Boulevard for more than 40 years. “It doesn’t help the businesses.”
Harry, who owns Bell Family Jewelers on 41st and Bell Blvd., believes that the potential small increase in parking spaces will not help solve what he considers to be a bigger problem.
“[Parking] is the worst it’s ever been,” he said. Harry petitioned the mayor’s office for a second level to be built on the Bayside municipal parking field to help alleviate the crowded parking problem, but he received a letter from DOT saying that because of the “exorbitant design and subsequent construction costs the Bureau of Parking is not expanding their current parking plant.”
Instead, Bayside joins the Steinway Street business area in Astoria as the latest entrants into the Muni-Meter world. Steinway Street was converted last month.
Besides using quarters or dollar coins for the Muni-Meters, drivers can purchase city parking cards in denominations of either $20 or $50 through the DOT Web site, by mail or at City Stores. For information, please call 311 or visit the DOT Web site, www.nyc.gov/dot.
pdavis@queenscourier.com

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