The loading zone’s been lifted!
The city plans to remove an infuriating Fourth Avenue loading zone that residents say was unnecessarily eating up valuable parking spaces in front of a corner deli — and became a ticket trap for motorists.
But it won’t be going too far, city officials assured us — it’s just moving across the street.
The news comes after months of complaints from neighbors, incensed by the loss of parking in an area of Bay Ridge where parking is at a premium, as well as articles by this newspaper on the controversial zone.
“Your newspaper brought the message out there,” an elated Stan Lubowicki, who works out at the gym across the street and has been up in arms over the zone since it suddenly appeared in November, told us. “[Moving the zone is] a fair solution.”
Councilman Vincent Gentile brokered the compromise that moves the zone to the new Metropolitan City Market near 93rd Street — a zone he says that the Goustaro Eatery, the business that petitioned the city for — and received — the loading zone last year, will share with the grocery giant.
“I think it’s a win-win-win for the supermarket, Goustaro’s and the community,” Gentile (D–Bay Ridge) said.
Ted Moustakas, the owner of Goustaro’s, did not respond to a request for comment, but he can’t be thrilled: he told us in December that he needed a loading zone in front of his store because his delivery drivers were getting slapped with double parking tickets. The zone, which Moustakas shared with a neighboring deli and a pet store, will now be a block away from his business.
“He’s not [jumping for joy],” Gentile admitted. “But we’re trying to do what is best for the most number of people.”
The loss of parking wasn’t the only gripe for Ridgites — many complained that the loading zone sign was confusing.
Drivers said the sign contradicted the one above it — which allowed two-hour metered parking from 8 am to 7 pm. As a result, many were ticketed for parking their cars when the loading zone was in affect.
The city cleared up the contradiction in January after receiving several complaints from residents and community leaders.