No place to park

Photo Courtesy of The Association of Merchants & Business Professionals of Westchester Square

The Westchester Square business owners are outraged at the disrespect shown by the government agencies occupying customer parking.

In recent months, government vehicles from the Air Force, Navy, and Army recruitment centers throughout Westchester Square have been occupying metered spots without payment and parking in designated no parking/no standing zones, along fire hydrants, or on the sidewalk of Owen Dolen Plaza.

“We are heavily involved and are actively pursuing some type of mediation,” said Gale Gundersdorff, Chief of Advertising and Public Affairs for the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion of New York City. “We are doing our part and we want no problems with Bronx leadership or the community because we actively pursue trying to partner with them in our activities and programs.”

According to John Bonizio, president of the Association of Merchants and Business Professionals of Westchester Square, on Monday, May 18, there was a total of 36 government vehicles occupying valuable parking spaces.

In addition to the recruitment personnel, Traffic Enforcement employees working from 2704 E. Tremont Avenue have been illegally parking their personal cars.

For Bonizio and the merchants, the problem remains that while consumers are being bombarded with parking violations, these vehicles go unpunished.

“Traffic Enforcement routinely turns a blind eye to illegally parked government vehicles throughout Westchester Square,” said Bonizio. “This includes private vehicles owned by Traffic Enforcement supervisors who illegally park vehicles.”

Councilmember Jimmy Vacca is responding to the concerns of Westchester Square residents and merchants through communication with representatives from Traffic Enforcement and the Office of Mayor Michel Bloomberg, to shed some light on the issue and develop a solution.

“I think this is a good neighbor issue and these agencies have to recognize they can’t monopolize parking spaces all day long. The merchants expect parking turn over so people can shop,” said Vacca. “This is one of the cases where I would like to see Traffic Enforcement go to town. I want to see the city take action.”

According to Vacca a representative from Traffic Enforcement was present in Westchester Square on Monday, May 18 to study the situation.

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