WP Rd TLC cars block shoppers

Two livery cab drivers congregate outside of the Radio Shack on White Plains Road. Complaints from local businesses cite a line of livery cabs continuously and illegally taking away parking spaces from valuable customers. - Photo by Adam Bermudez

A problem that’s plagued the Pelham Parkway business community for years seems to have no end in sight. 

As livery cabs continue to illegally monopolize metered parking spots, decreased sales along Pelham Parkway’s shopping strip have storeowners angry and ready for change.

“The cabs are still there and they don’t belong there,” John Fratta, district manager of Community Board 11, said.

Congregating around the Radio Shack store, located near the southeast corner of the White Plains Road and Pelham Parkway South intersection, directly in front of the steps to the #2/5 trains, the cabs continue to pose problems for the community.

“They’re supposed to have parking spots off the street,” Fratta said.  “These are the TLC rules.”

He explained the legal status of non-medallion taxi companies: only cabs with medallions, generally yellow cabs, are authorized to pick up patrons from the street. Anyone in need of transportation must contact a dispatcher, who in turn contacts the individual drivers for pick up.

Such drivers are often seen waiting in their cars, with the ignition on at the meters while they chat with fellow drivers.

“A meter is to be used for customers to park there, shop and then leave,” Fratta said.  “It’s unfair to hog up the meter.”

Vic DiPierro, Community Affairs Officer at the 49th Precinct said, “The police are committed to addressing the situation.”

While DiPierro added the 49th Precinct Special Operations task force addresses the matter on a daily basis, local storeowners are still seeking results.

George Arsenis, owner of Rainbow Diner, across the street from the problematic spot said he’s seen the taxis park there for years.  “They’re always there,” he said. 

Larry Prospect, a previous longtime local business owner, who now runs the White Plains Road BID, said he’s tried to secure a non-metered standing area in front of Apple Bank on Pelham Parkway South specifically for livery cars, hoping this will dissuade them from utilizing customer parking spots.  As of yet, his efforts have not be successful, resulting in a number of angry business owners and customers.

“I usually walk to White Plains Road, but when my brother drives over here, he can never get a spot,” Pelham Parkway resident Maria Nieves said.  “I always see the cabs and I wonder what they’re doing.”

With no end in sight, Prospect said, “This has been going on for at least 10, 15 years, and nothing’s been done.  But we will continue to look for a solution.”

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