Alternate-side-of-the-street parking will be suspended for months on residential streets in Park Slope starting this Monday, May 19 — temporarily ending the hassle of moving your car.
The downside is that there will be only limited residential street cleaning this summer.
For car owners, the alternate-side parking suspension is like a kid’s summertime vision of the school burning down. The change is necessary so that the Department of Transportation has enough time to install signs explaining a set of new street-cleaning regulations that will reduce “No parking” times from three hours to 90-minutes on days when streets are being cleaned.
Street-cleaning rules will also be suspended in commercial zones. When resumed, those streets will be cleaned as many as six times a week, up from four or five, on staggered half-hour cleaning schedules, said Community Board 6 District Manager Craig Hammerman, who said he has been calling for just such changes for 20 years.
Commonly Board 6 is “the last district in New York to go from the three-hour regulation to the 90-minute regulation,” he said. “We hope that life will be made easier, that streets will remain as clean as they are, and that ultimately there will be less need for vehicular movements.”
Later this year, the 90-minute “No Parking” rules will go into effect in the rest of CB6 — Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, and Red Hook.
Sanitation Department spokeswoman Kathy Dawkins echoed Hammerman, calling the new rules “a form of parking relief.”
“It also gives improved cleaning, overall to the commercial areas in Park Slope,” Dawkins said.
But while the signs are installed — which could take a few months, Dawkins said — street cleaning will be suspended in residential zones. It will continue in commercial zones.
That’s frustrating news to Steve Zito, the manager of Smiling Pizza on the corner of commercial Seventh Avenue and residential Ninth Street. He says he’ll miss the weekly street-cleaning on Ninth Street.
“We do have the side street to worry about,” he said. “We clean it as much as we can, but it helps when [the Sanitation Department] comes once a week.”
Zito’s other concern, he said, was where his customers would park this summer if residents never move their cars, and how that could affect his business.
“People do drive in. It’s always good to have that option for people to have a parking spot,” he said.
Sanitation street sweepers will still work the residential streets, but they won’t be able to get to the curb most days.
“We realize that people will probably not be moving their cars, but we will be maintaining the same cleaning schedule,” Dawkins said. “The brooms will go out like usual. When we have curb accessibility, we will sweep that area.”
Curbside garbage pick-up will not be affected, she added.
The changes affect all residential streets in Park Slope from May 19 until further notice in the area bounded by Pacific Street, Flatbush Avenue, Prospect Park West, 15th Street and Fourth Avenue.
For information about the summer alternate-side-of-the-street amnesty, head to www.nyc.gov/dot or call Community Board 6 at (718) 643-3027.
©2008 Community News Group
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