A private, commercial street in Parkchester is generating parking frustration.
The mix up is occurring on East Avenue, where drivers are confused by the street’s public/private parking regulations.
The two block stretch is tucked behind Metropolitan Avenue.
The commercial businesses along the street include Marshall’s, Subway, Sleepy’s and Santander Bank.
East Avenue’s 2-hour muni-meters operate from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. everyday except Sunday, according to its signage, however when not in operation the parking area is for Parkchester parking permit holders only.
A large sign posted by Parkchester Management warns after-hour parkers that the street is private and a tow away zone. It adds any illegally parked and unauthorized vehicles will be towed at the vehicle owner’s expense, 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
The contracted tow truck firm, Bear Transportation LLC, hired by Parkchester Condominiums, acknowledged that East Street generates an unusual situation because it mixes private and public parking at different times.
They claim that regular towing laws are in effect on this block just as they are for any other block in the city.
“It doesn’t matter if a street is private or public – if a car parks in a no standing zone, in front of a fire hydrant or in a pedestrian crosswalk, that car is getting towed.”
The latter of the three scenario’s took place earlier this month, when a local customer complained that his BMW was towed for parking in a pedestrian crosswalk. He argued that, because he had purchased a muni ticket, his car shouldn’t have been towed, according to Bear Transportation.
The customer, Muhannad Assi, said that he was not parked in a pedestrian crosswalk, but believes that he was towed because he had parked outside parking space’s lines.
Assi, a frequent Santandar Bank customer, also charged that metered parking on East Avenue is a conflict of interest for the city.
“If a street is private, it’s supposed to be private, meaning that anybody who parks there is entitled to park freely,” Assi said.
“I’m not even saying this for me – it’s just not fair that the residents of this block have to pay for a separate permit to park at night while they are still being charged to park on this street on a daily basis while the city benefits.”
“I just hate to see people who might not have knowledge of a situation be taken advantage of,” he added. “If they (the city) is collecting money for parking on a private street, the least they can do is fix the street’s condition.”
According to the NYC Department of Transpotation, East Avenue is indeed a privately owned street that offers restricted use to the public.
DOT added that markings on this street have been provided for the benefit of the pedestrians and vehicles that use this private street in the same manner as other public streets or highways that are traveled or used.