P’chester garage brawl on hold

Parkchester’s parkers are again vowing to fight for their right – to a guaranteed parking spot at a reasonable price.

The motorists at the Parkchester condominiums have their assigned spots back for now after a successful battle with the 2040 E. Tremont Avenue garage’s management company this spring.

Anger-inducing letters arrived in April from garage management firm Central Parking announcing that the complex’s long-time system of assigning the precious parking spots would be phased out and the garage opened up to the public.

Residents would be able to keep their assigned spot only by doling out $50 more per month to reserve a space on two designated reserved parking areas, the letters stated. This on top of the monthly $180 to $220 parking fee.

But a month later, after residents collected hundreds of signatures, held a Town Hall meeting, and called on elected officials for help, Central Parking posted yellow signs throughout the garage stating that the first-come, first-serve changes had been suspended.

Since then, Parkchester’s parking squabble has been put on the back burner. Yet residents are concerned that the parking company will again attempt to raise prices and remove the assigned parking policy.

“We have heard rumors that they try will try it again, but we won’t have it,” said Deborah Mizell, who has lived in Parkchester for nearly 30 years.

In Parkchester, parking is a prized commodity. Residents often spend years on a waiting list before getting access to a spot, Mizell said.

Removing the assigned spots to make room for public parking would be a slap in the face to the complex’s most loyal customers, she said.

“How about the seniors who have paid their dues?” she said. “How are you going to force them out like that?”

Those seniors complained at a May Town Hall meeting that making the garage public would force the disabled to walk up and down unwieldy flights of stairs. They also charged that the changes would result in smaller cars parking in spots designated for bigger cars, which would in turn mean bigger cars attempting to fit into smaller spots and causing damage.

Long-time Parkchester parkers pressed local Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda and Councilmember Annabel Palma to push the garage to drop the changes. Both pols say they lobbied the garage to keep the prices low and the spots reserved.

Mizell and her fellow assigned parkers plan to stay just as vigilant.

“I already pay $180 a month, and I’m entitled to a spot,” she said. “ Let’s say I go to church all day. During this time 25 to 30 people could come into the garage, and now I have to look around and find a spot? That’s crazy!”

Ben Kochman can be reach via e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at (718) 742-3394

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