Easier parking may mean better biz on Rockaway Boulevard

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

The city’s lift of parking restrictions may drive business back to stores along Rockaway Boulevard.

According to Senator Joseph Addabbo, the Department of Transportation (DOT) removed “No Standing” restrictions along the busy commercial corridor in Ozone Park. The formerly designated curbside travel lane — from along the northern side of Rockaway Boulevard between Cross Bay Boulevard and Liberty Avenue — once limited customers from parking between 4 to 7 p.m.

Now, patrons can park at the meters for one-hour between 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. with more ease.

“Anytime we can help local businesses in the area, it’s a step in the right direction,” Addabbo said. “It’s been a tough time for small businesses with the economy. We cannot create non-parking areas and make it difficult for customers to shop at these stores. This little change will help.”

Wayne Zanatta, owner of Midway Cabinets, said he’s happy to see the “useless restriction” go.

“That hurt everybody’s business. It only created revenue for the city,” Zanatta said. “The removal of the ‘No Standing’ sign makes life easier for our customers, and that’s what we want.”

Zanatta said the restriction was “heavily enforced” by city agents during a busy time for his store. He said he has even tried warning customers to save them from being slapped with a $115 parking ticket.

“At five minutes to 4 o’clock, I would check to see that every customer saw and knew about the sign,” he said.

Now, the next step, Addabbo said, is to continue working with the DOT to push for re-examinations of the Liberty Avenue area.

Modifications last year converted the commercial strip to a one-way eastbound street between 93rd Street and Cross Bay Boulevard — forcing cars to circle around if they want to visit the stores on the block. A concrete barrier was also placed along Cross Bay to prevent Liberty Avenue traffic from crossing through the intersection, which businesses said also caused revenue to suffer.

“Parking conditions are always an issue, and it’s always a good thing when the DOT responds to community request for changes,” said Betty Braton, chair of Community Board 10. “We’re glad that they’ve done them, and hopefully this will improve the situation. We’re hopeful that there will be some changes that will be made to the benefit of businesses on the Liberty Avenue lot.”


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