Community Board 10 voted on Thursday, February 19, to support the installation of parking meters and the removal of “No Standing” signs on Ferris Place between Westchester and Commerce avenues.
While the action has many supporters in the Westchester Square business community, others wondered how it would affect the New York State Empire Zone that is designed to attract more industrial and commercial businesses to the Zerega area through tax breaks.
The lack of parking in Westchester Square, and the overly aggressive traffic agents, has made the desolate stretch of roadway a prime place to install metered parking because of its proximity to the retail businesses that line Westchester Square.
“Every little space counts and that block is not the manufacturing area that it used to be,” said John Bonizio, president of the Association of Professionals and Merchants of Westchester Square. “There used to be a lot of truck traffic on Ferris Place, but the landscape has changed and now the community and businesses must change along with it.”
Bonizio said Ferris Place contains many vacant manufacturing properties once leased by industrial businesses that needed the “No Standing” signs, and called the square area “parking-challenged.”
Other than the Chippewa Democratic Club that is near the corner of Ferris Place and Westchester Avenue, and a nearby church, he is not familiar with many businesses or institutions that are still accepting deliveries on the street.
One business owner who operates on the street in question, Chris Rapisarda of Lifeline Ambulance at 1439 Ferris Place, said that he is aware of at least one business that accepts deliveries on the street, and that his employees have particular needs when it comes to parking their personal vehicles.
“It is fortunate that we are very close to public transportation at Westchester Square,” Rapisarda said.
Rapisarda, who is part of the statewide Empire State economic development initiative, stated that CB 10’s vote wouldn’t really change the situation for employee parking at Lifeline. As it stands now, his employees cannot park outside on Ferris Place because it is marked “No Standing.”