Parking lot accident highlights safety concerns

Joe Bivona, the owner of Super Foodtown, has become concerned about the safety of parents and children who use his parking lot during the P.S. 14’s dismissal. Photo by Patrick Rocchio

An elderly woman mistook her gas pedal for the brake and sent her car careening into five cars in the Super Foodtown parking lot on Wednesday, April 22, at 3:15 p.m.

The end result was some dented steel and broken plastic, but according to the supermarket’s owner, Joe Bivona, if the incident had occurred a half hour earlier, it could have been tragic.

He said parents picking up their children at P.S. 14 routinely use his parking lot at 2945 Bruckner Boulevard rather than double park on Crosby Avenue, where they are subject to traffic enforcement summonsing.

Bivona has no issue with the parents parking in his lot, but has grown increasingly concerned about the safety of the elementary school students crossing the busy parking lot every day.

Bivona said, “The way this lady T-boned those five cars, pushing one into another, could have resulted in a very serious disaster.”

He said that he contends with the lost parking spaces, and blocked entrances and exits while parents run across the street and pick up their children.

“They jam up my parking lot, but we have so far turned a blind eye to it,” Bivona said. “Many of the parents at the school are my customers.”

Bivona feels the school’s administration should dismiss at least some of its students onto Hollywood Avenue, on the opposite side of the building.

“It is a much quieter street,” Bivona said.

P.S. 14’s parent coordinator Evelyn Pereira said that the school’s administration is working closely with Bivona on the situation.

“I believe that Joe Bivona and the principal have spoken,” Pereira said. “I think that the situation has been rectified. We constantly remind the parents every Friday in our newsletter, and we also have posted signs throughout the building not to park there.”

Pereira added: “We have worked very closely with Joe, and in fact, a lot of the parents are now getting tickets for double-parking on Crosby Avenue. For the safety of our children and his business we are ensuring that our parents do not park in that parking lot.”

“We are an evacuation location for P.S. 14 in case of a major emergency,” Bivona said. “But parents park in my spaces. They park on the new sidewalk that we put in. The principal needs to come out and talk with the parents who are doing this.”

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