The parking attendants are back.
Parkchester residents who park in the three neighborhood garages are rejoicing that the 24-hour parking attendants, who were removed this summer, have been reinstated.
Garage customers were concerned for their safety without the around-the-clock staffing. Residents said the attendants began to reappear without any advance notice over the past few weeks.
A spokesman for Central Parking System the Nashville, TN.-based company that manages the garages confirmed that they attendants had been fully reinstated during the week beginning Monday, December 5.
“I’m very pleased, and I know I speak for everyone else that parks (in the three garages),” said Deborah Mizell, a Parkchester community activist.
Mizell had collected over 800 signatures from residents who use the garages, which are located on Unionport Road, Archer Avenue and East Tremont Avenue. She helped organize two town hall meetings since October, at which frustrated customers expressed their concerns to representatives from Assemblyman Peter Rivera’s office. Mizell also formed a garages committee, and retained the services of a lawyer in her fight for round-the-clock staffing, but has yet to take any legal action.
The residents’ concerns about the lack of attendants revolved mainly around security, even though they are not trained security guards.
I definitely feel safer,” she said. “Anything can happen no matter where you are. And even a scream, the attendants can hear you. Just to see the presence of someone sitting there. That’s a deterrent.”
Central Parking System manages the garages on behalf of owner Parkchester Preservation Company. Customers pay an average of over $150 a month for a parking space.
Mizell is still in touch with her attorney, in case the attendants are removed again. They were reinstated on a part-time basis shortly after the first town hall meeting, but garage customers said that arrangement did not last long. Anything less that 24 hours a day would be unacceptable they expressed. In lieu of round-the-clock staffing, attendants also roved between the garages in a car.
Danny Figueroa, Rivera’s chief of staff, also helped facilitate the town hall meetings and the petitions.
“I believe that (Central Parking System) had all intentions to do something,” Figueroa said. “I think our ability to mobilize the community prompted them to act quicker.”
Figueroa also added his office would like to see the physical appearance of the garages improved, citing dripping water and broken lights.
Mizell agreed that while those were issues, the lack of attendants was the most pressing.
“The biggest issue that we had to address was to get the attendants back,” she said.
Bill Weisbrod can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 742-3394.