Commuters Balk As DOT Changes Parking Regulations In Sunnyside

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — It was one of the best parking deals in town, but not anymore.

A change in parking regulations in Sunnyside, Queens is making life easier for some businesses, but more difficult for some commuters.

Pub owner Ciaran Staunton says a parking squeeze along Queens Boulevard has been costing his business lots of customers.

“If they come in for coffee, they would pay two dollars for coffee and a $115 parking ticket,” he told CBS 2’s John Metaxas.

The problem is the long-term parking spots under the elevated tracks are taken up by commuters — leaving few spaces for local residents who want to shop at local businesses.

“It’s very hard to find parking around here,” Yvette Bernade said.

People say commuters come in from Long Island and hog up the spots for 12 hours and then hop onto the 7 train into the city.

“Sunnyside is not just a place to park your car on your way into Manahttan,” said City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer.

But now — after complaints from local lawmakers — the city is stepping in to help. Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced the parking spots will be changed from 12-hour parking to four hours maximum.

The move is expected to make things much harder for commuters like Nick Turcut, who lives on Long Island and parks in Queens.

“It’s gonna be pretty bad for the people who commute from here to Manhattan for four hours, it’s not enough I think,” Turcut said.

“They should leave their cars home, take the train in all the way. I’m sure they can leave it in the parking lot on the other side,” Gregory Schall said.

While many applauded the change, not every local business owner is for it.

“People come from the city, after work after parking there for eight hours and they come for a slice of pizza. Now where are they going to come for a slice of pizza? They can’t park there,” Michael Casparem, the owner of Sunnyside Pizza, said.

Others reply that Sunnyside is now open for business.

In addition to the change in muni-meter, a three-hour no standing zone on Queens Boulevard will be cut to one hour.

The new parking regulations take effect October 31.

What do you think about the new regulations?  Share your thoughts in the comments section…

More from John Metaxas
  • Tom

    Wouldnt it be better if the city marked parking spots on the residential streets and fined commuters or other people who did not park in them?

  • Daphna

    This four-hour maximum is going to help local Sunnyside businesses tremendously. Commerce is important. Long Island residents who were in the habit of storing their cars all day long in Sunnyside can make another choice: they can drive to a Long Island Railroad stop close to their house and park their car there. Or if they still want to park in Sunnyside, they can pay to park in a garage. This area will benefit more from local use rather than as a park-n-ride type parking lot for commuters.

    • Larry Schwarz

      In addition for Christmas shoppers The City should consider allowing 2 hours free parking to get people to shop in neighborhood stores like in Sunnyside,and not go to the malls.Many Cities around The USA do this already.Pressure should be put on The City to do this.Let’s say from The Day after Thanksgiving until Dec 27th.Two hours,Parking enforcement can mark the tires.I have a handicap decal.New York City is one of the few cities that does not allow me one or two hours free parking with my decal.Come on Mr.Mayor,give us a break.

  • Lawn-Guy Land

    This is an outrage! We suburbanites are the REAL New Yorkers, so we have more right to your streets and parking than you do.

  • Down with the khan.

    Why WOULD this tyrant do anything to make commuting from the outer boroughs any easier? Flat out – if you ain’t riding the train or a bike in Manhattan, she considers you unimportant and any inconvenience to you is just necessary collateral damage.

  • Larry Schwarz

    I agree that Parking should be available for customers,residents,and those who work in this area.Not every business has their own parking lot.Why not build a reasonably priced parking structure for commuters,cheaper then parking in Manhattan.Otherwise people will drive into Manhattan where traffic is bad enough.Perhaps rent spaces on a monthly basis.I agree with The people of Sunnsyside though.People who want to shop there and who work there should be able to park there.In fact Parking for them should be free.

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