E. Tremont merchants request parking meters

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While parking meters are often seen as a necessary evil on the business scene, there is one group of area merchants that would gladly welcome such devices to their commercial strip.

A stretch of E. Tremont Avenue, near the old St. Raymond’s cemetery, running from Bradford to Waterbury avenues, has no parking meters, because years ago no major concentration of businesses were located in the area.

Today, with Anthony’s Flower Farm, Balloon Time, Milea and numerous professional offices, many merchants feel that this stretch of E. Tremont Avenue would benefit from meters, just like the rest of the thoroughfare in Throggs Neck.

“Many of the people at the offices across the street leave their cars there all day,” said Anthony Mancini, owner of Anthony’s Flower Farm at 3240 E. Tremont Avenue, who brought up the idea of meters at a recent Throggs Neck Merchants Association meeting.

“A couple of commuters also park their cars here and then jump on the express bus,” he added.  “In recent years, professional offices were constructed across the street.”

Mancini said that there is plenty of parking available off of E. Tremont Avenue in the area, on streets like Whittemore and Balcom avenues, and that workers or commuters would only be slightly inconvenienced by having to walk an extra block or two.

Nevertheless, Mancini is pleased that the block now has so much commercial traffic, and is satisfied with TNMA president John Cerini’s assurance that he would look into requesting meters for the area. 

Mancini’s neighbor, a fellow entrepreneur, agreed with his assessment of what was going on in the area near the 3200 block of E. Tremont Avenue, but wants to make sure they get the right type of meters. 

“We want traffic meters, not muni-meters, for fast turnover on the street” exclaimed Susan Digirolamo, of Balloon Time at 3277 E. Tremont Avenue. “People do not want to spend $115 on a ticket to get a balloon that costs $3.75.”

“If all the people who worked here parked their cars down by the cemetery on Whittmore and Balcom avenues, there wouldn’t be a problem,” Digirolamo stated.

She said that even though her customers would now be obliged to pay for parking, she would gladly foot the bill for a few quarters to ease the transition.

“Everybody shopping on E. Tremont Avenue going past Waterbury Avenue ends up parking in this area, where they can leave their cars all day,” said Albert Sanfillippo, owner of Milea Pontiac-Buick-GMC at 3211 E. Tremont Avenue.  “So, maybe it is better if we get parking meters.”

In addition, if a ticket is issued for an expired meter, it is substantially less than for a double-parked car.

“Years ago, there were empty lots across the street, and having business on the block enhances the neighborho­od,” Mancini explained. “Now all we have to do is free up some parking.” 

Updated 5:30 pm, October 21, 2011
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