Local leaders met on Tuesday, March 17 to further discuss angled street parking in Pelham Bay. Staffers from Councilman James Vacca’s office will survey a handful of streets, hold a public hearing and deliver a presentation to the Department of Transportation.
Pelham Bay streets to be surveyed include: Crosby Avenue, Buhre Avenue, Pilgrim Avenue, St. Theresa Avenue and Westchester Avenue. Mary Jane Musano of the Waterbury LaSalle Community Association thinks angled parking would benefit both Pelham Bay merchants and residents.
“Parking is our top problem,” Musano said. “We’re working on solutions for the short-term and the long-term.”
Musano considers angled parking a short-term solution; she has advocated for a municipal parking lot near the neighborhood’s commercial hub.
Crosby is Pelham Bay’s main street and a parking nightmare. Many neighborhood leaders favor angled parking there – such as Pelham Bay Taxpayers president Ed Romeo.
Some believe Crosby could accommodate angled parking. Others, such as Ralph Giordano of Giordano Funeral Home, believe the street is too busy and narrow.
Community Board 10 member Anne Jack is certain that, in order to accommodate angled parking, Crosby’s curbs would need to be cut. Jack doubts the DOT will spring for such a costly project.
At least one Pelham Bay merchant wants to help – Mike Difigola of Vito’s Men’s Shop. Difigola is for angled parking on Buhre and Crosby.
“Angled parking would eliminate a lot of problems for residents,” he said. “And it would be good for business. It would be expensive, of course. But we’d gain a lot, and would escape all these double-parking tickets.”
Difigola thinks he and other Pelham Bay merchants could host a fundraiser – a dinner dance, for example – in support of angled parking.
Giordano is less optimistic. Both he and Difigola are members of the Pelham Bay Merchants Association.
Nearly everyone seems to agree that Buhre is an appropriate street for angled parking. It boasts a number of stores and is fairly wide. According to Jack, the DOT wouldn’t need to cut Buhre’s curbs. Romeo is of two minds.
“Buhre would be a good start,” he said. “Ultimately, I’m pushing for Crosby. DOT has money. Look at the Grand Concourse. The question is: does DOT have money for us?”
Father Jacob Thumma of St. Theresa Church is a cautious proponent of angled parking.
“Angled parking can be dangerous,” Fr. Thumma said. “But we do need more parking.”