By Stephen Stirling
Three parking meters stand between several Whitestone residents and peace of mind.
Members of the Whitestone Taxpayers Association, the Immanuel Lutheran School and the Autism Community Day School on 150th Street are clamoring for the city to suspend a row of parking meters for two hours a day to give school buses adequate space to pick up students.
Area residents say dismissal at the Immanuel Lutheran School and the Autism Community Day School, on the corner of 150th Street and 12th Avenue, constantly leads to school buses double parking and idling in front of residences along 12th Avenue as they jockey for space.
A row of parking meters along the considerably wider 150th Street, which also runs along the schools' property, prevents the buses from using much of the street as a pickup point.
Pat Carpentiere of the taxpayers association said it does not seem outlandish to request that the meters be suspended for a two-hour period during the afternoon outside the building where the schools are located, but so far the city has not relented.
“We're talking about three parking meters here,” Carpentiere said. “It's a school for autistic children — if anything, you would expect they would have more understanding about the situation.”
Carpentiere said the city Department of Transportation and the city Office of Pupil Transportation have denied their requests to have the meters suspended. Neither city agency could be reached for comment by press time.
“We didn't think it would be a problem,” he said. “It all falls on deaf ears.”
Lisa Veglia, who owns the building that houses the schools, said she agrees with the area residents' concerns.
“It might be a dollars-and-cents thing,” Veglia said. “If they did it, then we could divert buses around to where the meters are. Right now the buses get backed up and they end up idling in front of the residences. It would be very helpful if we could make it happen.”
Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.