MTA works with Councilman James Vacca get holiday parking in Pelham Bay

Parking was restored to stores along Westchester Avenue between Buhre and Pilgrim avenues after a deal was worked out between Councilman Vacca and the MTA. The MTA is reconstructing the Buhre Avenue #6 IRT station.
Community News Group/Photo by Patrick Rocchio

Shoppers and local businesses in Pelham Bay are getting some relief this holiday season.

Renovation on the Buhre Avenue #6 IRT station will continue unstopped during December, but at the request of Councilman James Vacca, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and its contractor have moved equipment and materials to free up parking on Westchester Avenue.

Parking will be available on Westchester Avenue between Burhe and Pilgrim avenues, said Vacca, from Thursday, December 4 on through the new year.

“The contractor for the MTA consolidated his supplies, and until January 2nd, at least, there will be parking,” said Vacca, who said that the spaces are in front of Pilgrim Pharmacy, Lehigh Wines & Liquors, Pruzzo’s Supermarket, and a carpet store.

The contractors’ shifting of equipment, including Dumpsters and materials, is having a positive effect, said the councilman.

He added that it is fairly common during capital projects for parking issues to be mitigated during the holiday season.

Pelham Bay Merchants Association president Irene Guanill thanked Vacca, and Community Board 10, who she said have both worked on behalf of the merchants to help during the ongoing construction at the station.

“The Pelham Bay Merchants want to thank Councilman Jimmy Vacca and Ken Kearns for communicating our concerns to the MTA, and successfully getting the MTA to free up parking for the holidays,” said Gunanil. “We are grateful. They moved it and it is temporary, but it is the best thing to do in the holiday spirit.”

She added: “It has already shown to be a positive move. The residents and the merchants have already said so.”

CB 10 district manager Ken Kearns gave much of the credit to Vacca, the MTA and the city Department of Transportation for easing the parking.

Kearns said that this most recent development is part of a broader effort to help ease the parking situation during the construction, including efforts to get two-hour parking on one side of the adjacent street, Pilgrim Avenue between Westchester and Buhre avenues.

Kearns added that the parking also helps a local barber shop, and about five other businesses. “They can now direct their clients to park only a few steps away on Pilgrim Avenue.”

Councilman Vacca, joined by CB 10, also led a successful effort to get brighter nighttime lighting installed on the stretch of Pelham Bay’s commercial corridor after Lehigh Wines & Liquor was robbed at gunpoint, said Kearns. That incident occurred in October.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procc‌hio@c‌ngloc‌al.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.

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