Jackson Heights welcomes muni-meters

The 37th Avenue corridor in Jackson Heights has undergone a subtle facelift that should make happy drivers out of frustrated ones.

A total of 70 muni-meters have been installed from 72nd Street to 95th Street and on some side streets with commercial businesses and have replaced some of the 428 single-spaced meters. Those meters not replaced will be converted to bicycle racks.

According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), the muni-meters should allow between 10 to 15 percent more spaces for cars to park, alleviate the congestion caused by cars that idle as they wait to park or circle around in search of a space, and generate much needed revenue for the city.

“Having the meters installed has a double effect on the community,” said Councilmember Daniel Dromm. “It helps the businesses in the community because they have more parking spaces and also the idea of having additional revenue for the city is something that is attractive as well.”

The muni-meters form part of several collaborative efforts between the residents of Jackson Heights and DOT to address sidewalk and street congestion. DOT facilitators have met in small groups with members of the community as recently as the last week of April to discuss traffic congestion.

“One of the main issues presented by almost everyone at these open houses has been congestion in the area,” said DOT Queens Borough Commissioner Maura McCarthy. “A lot of that congestion is caused by vehicles circling to find those spots.”

The cost and duration of environmentally-friendly muni-meters – each one has small solar panels that trap enough energy to run for a week without sunlight – will remain the same. Each offers more payment options in addition to quarters and dollar coins, like credit and debit cards, and NYC Parking Cards.

“We look forward to the additional muni-meters throughout the district particularly in our commercial areas such as Junction Boulevard and Northern Boulevard,” said Giovanna Reid, District Manager for Community Board #3.

Corona resident Freddy Reyes said he liked that the city had installed the muni-meters.

“It’s good,” he said as he deposited quarters into a meter on 37th Avenue between 80th and 81st Streets. “You can put your receipt in the windshield and because you can use a credit card, it’s better.”

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