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City repeals hourly parking increase

With the price of gas reaching well above $3 a gallon, motorists in Queens can be grateful for one thing – there won’t be an increase in parking meter rates this year.
As The Courier reported late last year, beginning Monday, January 3, 25 cents would have only bought 15 minutes at a parking meter, not 20, in the boroughs.
“The change was included as part of a package of citywide budget-gap closing proposals and is expected to be implemented over a six-month period beginning in January 2011 and ending June 30,” said the Department of Transportation at the time.
But, as part of an deal between Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the City Council, “We came to an agreement that the increase for this fiscal year – which ends June 30 – would not be put into effect,” said Marc Lavorgna, a spokesperson for the mayor.
“While small increases in taxes and fees don’t seem like a big deal to some people at City Hall, they add up quickly for residents,” said City Councilmember Eric Ulrich. “I am pleased that the Council was able to prevent this parking meter rate increase, which also had the potential to hurt small businesses. These types of fiscal gimmicks are short-sighted and do little to address the city’s budget woes in the long run.”
Business owners and advocates are “thrilled.”
“We are so pleased,” said Maria A. Thomson, executive director of the Woodhaven Business Improvement District (BID). “I think it’s an excellent decision for our businesses and store owners.”
After all, she said, shoppers “can’t get anything done in 15 minutes.”

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