The city has begun phasing out the dreaded “loading zones” in DUMBO as part of a year-long attempt to create more parking spaces in the car-choked neighborhood.
“We hope to have it finished by the end of the year,” said Joseph Pamieri, the Department of Transportation’s Brooklyn Borough Commissioner.
The shift in parking priorities reflects the change in the area — warehouses now house coffee shops and boutiques rather than industry.
“The parking regulations are outdated,” said Tucker Reed, executive director of the DUMBO Improvement District. “They’re from the time when DUMBO was an industrial area. It’s pretty clear the neighborhood has changed to a residential and retail area.”
The change is coming slowly, as the DOT is examining the parking situation block by block. Once a decision is made to remove a “No Parking, 8 am–6 pm” sign, it takes 90 days for DOT to order and install the new sign.
Some parts of Pearl, Anchorage, and Jay streets have already been altered, and Front Street is next on the list, Reed said.
The move comes after the neighborhood lost roughly eight spaces in the creation of the Pearl Street sitting area.
The Improvement District and the city have been talking about making these changes for the past six months. As with many city projects, the work is going slowly, but it is being done.
Reed hopes that the transition will end sometime “in the near future.” After all, some of his employees at the Improvement District need parking just as much as anyone.
“Parking isn’t easy for anyone in DUMBO,” he said.