Push angle parking along MP Avenue

Community Board 11 has come up with a new angle to find parking along Morris Park’s crowded main shopping strip.

It wants to install angle parking along an eight-block stretch of Morris Park Avenue, from Tenbroeck to Radcliff Avenues.

The move is high on Board 11’s list of capitol budget requests for the city’s new fiscal year starting July 1.

The request is supported by the Morris Park Community Association, and according to the communithy board will “add additional metered parking on the Morris Park business strip and will prevent the loss of more businesses due to the lack of parking.”

MPCA president and CB 11 vice chair Al D’Angelo said trying to find a spot on Morris Park Avenue on a Saturday afternoon is nearly impossible.

“You just can’t find one,” D’Angelo said. “Over Easter weekend, there were meter maids walking up and down the avenue galore. That is a busy time for our business people. They would’ve been doing good business, but people are scared to leave their cars double parked because of ticketing, and they can’t find spots. Everyone wants to talk about helping out the small businesses, but they are hitting them over the head with a hammer with this parking situation.”

With the limited amount of parking along the avenue, it has become difficult for small store owners to make a living, D’Angelo said.

“The angle parking would open up more spots and give people the opportunity to walk and shop the avenue,” he said. “It will also make the area more appealing for stores to come into the community.”

D’Angelo does, however, see some issues with the project.

“The problem I see is that it is a busy street,” he said. “Cars will have to back in so they don’t back out into traffic and cause a problem. They might also have to narrow the sidewalk slightly, so the parked cars don’t cause a problem with the cars traveling along the street.”

CB 11 district manager Jeremy Warneke said that while there is a parking problem, “I think the city is very reluctant to chop up the sidewalk, as they are on more of a pedestrian push these days to keep less cars on the road and for people to use more mass transit.”

According to the city Department of Transportation, because Morris Park Avenue is a main artery that includes a bus route, angle parking would require major re-construction, including cutting back sidewalks and relocating street lights.

Board 11, which made a similar request in 2009, recently requested a preliminary cost estimate from the DOT on the project.

Sal Paljevic, president of the Morris Park Business Alliance and owner of Conte’s bakery at 786 Morris Park Ave., said he is definitely in favor of angle parking.

“Of course it is going to help, it’s a no brainer,” Paljevic said. “This is something we’ve been talking about for years. People are reluctant to come down here because they get ticketed, especially on the weekend. I’m a weekend-based business. My customers come in, and double park to run in for a $20 cake and wind up getting a $150 ticket. I think it will open things up a lot more. It will also give the area more of a village feel. It looks better too.”

Ken Baker, co-owner of Sidestreet Sports at 1048 Morris Park Ave., said he sees how extra parking could help business owners, but also understands it would require a major overhaul.

“They would definitely have to cut the sidewalk back,” Baker said. “I’m all for anything that will help the neighborhood, as long as it doesn’t block the street lanes. I think it will help especially with Target and the new mall at Co-op City coming. That will be the death of mom and pop stores around here, because they have big free parking lots so people can take their time and shop.”

Kirsten Sanchez can be reach via e-mail at ksanchez@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3394

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