MTA workers abuse Amendola Plaza walkway

Concrete on Amendola Plaza (above) was not designed to handle the weight of motor vehicles. Concrete for pedestrians is not reinforced, therefore if the MTA parks vehicles on the plaza, they will damage it. Photo by Patrick Rocochio

MTA workers have been using Amendola Plaza as a parking lot, and are getting away with it, because traffic enforcement is turning a blind eye towards dispensing parking justice in an equitable way.

Workers for MTA-New York City Transit have been seen parking their personal vehicles in an area reserved only for pedestrians on numerous occasions over the past few weeks, beneath the Pelham Bay IRT #6 station at Amendola Plaza.

The situation has area homeowners and merchants crying fowl, especially after a Traffic Enforcement spokesperson told a local community and business leader, Ed Romeo, that the agency would not summons a “brother agency.” Romeo said the conversation occurred at a Community Board 10 municipal services meeting.

“Amendola Plaza is for people to stand on as they wait for busses after transferring or departing from the train,” said Romeo, president of the Pelham Bay Taxpayers Association and a local merchant at Lasting Impressions at 3196 Westchester Avenue. “MTA workers are parking their personal vehicles on the sidewalk of Amendola Plaza for 10 to 12 hours at a time, and the people at the management office at the station said they are not going to tell their workers not to park there.”

Romeo said that since Traffic Enforcement is constantly issuing tickets in the area, sometimes even going so far as to ticket UPS delivery trucks, there is no reason why workers of a state government agency should get special consideration and be immune from ticketing.

“If you do for one, you have to do for all,” Romeo said. “We can’t have special rules for state agencies and their employees.”

When questioned about the parking problem, a spokesman for MTA-NYC Transit said that such an arrangement between Traffic Enforcement and his agency does not exist.

“After having checked with my Government Affairs representative, I can say that there is absolutely no arrangement or understanding with Traffic Enforcement not to ticket the personal vehicles of NYC Transit employees,” said Charles Seaton, MTA-New York City Transit spokesman.

Romeo said that the MTA-NYC Transit workers from Pelham Bay Station are more than welcome in the neighborhood, but he would like it if the MTA made arrangements for parking in the area, perhaps renting space in the garages of nearby properties, which would benefit the area.

“If people from the neighborhood cannot park their cars to visit area merchants without having to worry about being ticketed, why should Pelham Bay Station become the parking lot for MTA employees personal vehicles?” Romeo said.

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