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Muni-meters hit East Tremont Avenue

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Muni-meters have come to Throggs Neck, and the verdict is still out on how residents and customers along the shopping strip will find the new parking arrangement.

The solar-powered boxes which dispense a ticket that must be displayed on the windshield will cost motorists one dollar for every hour on East Tremont Avenue, said Throggs Neck Merchant Association past president John Cerini.

Many merchants will be glad because a box will be located on the street near where their shop is, as is the case with Cerini’s Bronx Tax Man at 3707 East Tremont Avenue, Cerini said. But other merchants and motorists will be disappointed, he said.

“I think that some store owners will not like the muni-meters because the boxes are far from their store,” Cerini said. “Customers are going to have to park walk up to 100 feet to a muni-meter, and then go back to their car so they can display their ticket.”

The muni-meters come with the added convenience of paying by credit card, but will be more of a burden for those who have trouble walking long distances to get to the meter, Cerini said.

The meters have been installed on E. Tremont Avenue from Westchester Square to Schley Avenue, Cerini said. They will soon replace all single space meters in the city, according to city Department of Transportation plans. DOT believes that muni-meters increase payment options, have enhanced durability, and more resistance to tampering, said DOT spokesman Montgomery Dean.

The time limit will still be two hours for the muni-meters on E. Tremont Avenue, Cerini said. Muni-meters still charge 75 cents an hour to park in Westchester Square, which has had them for several years, said Westchester Square Merchant Association program coordinator Joe Regina.

Based on a two-year pilot program on Morris Park Avenue, the city DOT believes that muni-meters provide addded parking spaces because cars can park closer to one another, said Morris Park Community leader Joe Bombace.

Steve Kaufman, a business owner on Bruckner Boulevard and president of the Throggs Neck Merchants Association believes otherwise.

“This is another way to make people pay more for parking and they are making the city too expensive,” Kaufman said. “I am not convinced that muni-meters will create more spots. I don’t see how they are creating more spots by putting these machines up.”

Many seniors will need to learn how to use the new meters, which is an inconvenience, said Anita Valenti of the Pelham Bay Taxpayers.

“We have many older people who will not understand the workings of the muni-meter and will not place the ticket stub in the windshield of their car, creating an unnecessary parking ticket,” said Andrew Chirico of the Waterbury LaSalle Community Association. “Many of the older people have trouble walking, looking around, and reaching for things.”

Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at procchio@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3393

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