Parking study aims to improve Bell Boulevard

By Tom Momberg

The Bayside Village Business Improvement District has officially contracted with HB Engineering to begin moving forward on a parking study in Bayside and on Bell Boulevard this month.

City Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) set aside $20,000 in discretionary funds for a parking study last year. The plan was to conduct a feasibility study before building a multilevel parking structure to expand the current city Department of Transportation municipal lot on 214th Place and 41st Avenue.

The money will now instead fund a parking study that takes a more inclusive look at the whole village, to help propose both possible short-term and long-term solutions to parking problems.

A lack of parking availability is something which residents and business owners have identified as the most significant issue facing Bayside. Commuters drive in and park on residential streets to take the Long Island Railroad. Others working or shopping in the village struggle to find parking in close proximity to businesses, while commercial property owners struggle to obtain deliveries without blocking traffic.

Bayside Village BID Executive Director Lyle Sinclair said that the study will help Baysiders look at options that could be implemented immediately, such as a ride share program or shared business parking, while long-term solutions such as building a parking structure can also be considered.

“We’re trying to identify solutions that can appeal to commuters, residents and businesses,” Sinclair said.

Engineers will be taking the month of March to look at the number of parking citations issued on any given day, examine the amount of time cars stay parked around Bell Boulevard and geographically analyze supply and demand for both street parking and parking spaces.

“Finding solutions to this is not one size fits all … It will likely take a combination of approaches to address parking issues,” Sinclair said. “This study will help us identify where we should focus. We’ll also be looking at approaches taken in other areas of the city to figure out what will work specifically for Bayside.”

There will be a public meeting in which people can submit comments and become more familiar with the parking study, on Tuesday, April 14, at 7 p.m. The meeting will be hosted by the Bayside Village BID at the Bayside Methodist Church, 38-20 Bell Blvd., allowing engineers to gauge input on what the community thinks will or will not work. The study should be released sometime shortly afterward.

Reach reporter Tom Momberg by e-mail at tmomberg@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.