This isn’t a taxi stand — it is a taxi standstill!
The city must find somewhere to house the out-of-use taxis that have been sitting idle on a Greenpoint street for at least a year as riders flock to Uber, say local business owners who claim the “taxi graveyard” is hogging all the parking in the area and starving them of customers.
“It’s very unfair for shops whose customers are trying to find parking,” said Tony Arganto, owner of nearby film studio Broadway Stages, at a recent 94th Precinct Community Council meeting, where he demanded police and the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission step in.
The precinct’s commanding officer promised to reach out to the taxi agency to discuss solutions to the permanent parking lot on Provost Street between Greenpoint Avenue and Freeman Street, but a rep for the commission said it is perfectly legal for the company and other hacks to park their cabs there and wasn’t aware of any issues.
The dispatcher responsible for most of the cars on the stretch — which declined to comment for this article — acknowledged the problem to Gothamist in August, but said its customers and drivers have been ditching traditional cabs for app-based services and claimed it hasn’t been able to find a lot nearby to house its empty fleet.
“I don’t blame the neighbors,” McGuinness Management Corporation owner Gus Kodogiannis told the website at the time. “Where are they going to put their cars?”
Local business owners say things have only gotten worse since then, and the graveyard is killing business for the entire area.
“There are less people coming in,” said Andy Maldonado, who owns a deli a block away at McGuinness Boulevard and Huron Street, and says the empty cars became a permanent fixture around a year ago.
And residents say they are equally frustrated with the death of parking.
“It’s really gotten disgusting — it’s unbelievable,” said resident Teresa DeFrancisco, who agreed that many locals have switched to Uber and its ilk, including one of her neighbors, who “goes crazy” for the company.