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What a load! City switches out confusing street sign, but hated loading zone stays

Motorists were confused by this sign. At first glance, it appears that it's OK to park in a loading zone.
File photo by Colin Mixson

The city fixed a confusing Fourth Avenue parking sign that made motorists think it was OK to park in a loading zone — but some are still sore over the loss of three pivotal spaces along the busy commercial strip.

The “Loading zone. No Parking. 7 am–4 pm” sign between 92nd and 93rd streets drew the ire of Ridgites when the city put it up in front of the Goustaro Eatery in November.

Drivers said the sign contradicted the one above it — which allows two-hour metered parking from 8 am to 7 pm – and were ticketed for parking their car there, even though there was a little yellow notice attached to the sign indicating that “meters are not in effect” during loading zone hours.

But that all changed on Wednesday when city work crews replaced the parking meter sign with a new one reading, “Two hour parking 4 pm–7 pm except Sunday” — so everything jives.

The city made the changes after receiving months of complaints from residents and community leaders — yet Department of Transportation officials say the agency wasn’t bullied into fixing anything — it just wanted to streamline the signage.

“The new sign clarifies that the meters are in effect from 4-7 pm,” said agency spokesman Monty Dean. “The loading zone sign will be changed to start at 8 am and not include Saturday.”

But residents were still irate over losing parking spaces on the busy commercial strip.

“I’m not happy with it at all,” said Stan Lubowicki, who exercises at the Harbor Fitness across the street from Goustaro Eatery. “It shouldn’t be a loading zone.”

Lubowicki also wondered why the city placed a muni-meter near the loading zone — which would make motorists believe it was safe to park there.

“When I see a meter, I don’t look at anything else,” he said, claiming that the city was merely throwing a bone to residents by fixing the signs rather than removing the loading zone. “They took the easy way out, but it still takes away 28 spots a day.”

Many say the Goustaro Eatery doesn’t need a loading zone since these type of parking-free spaces are usually reserved for bigger stores that get a number of deliveries each day.

“We would like to hear what the [city’s] criteria is [for approving a loading zone],” said Community Board District Manager Josephine Beckmann, who said the city never informed her office that they were going to remove parking spots in front of the Goustaro Eatery. “We should at least be notified when a loading zone is going in.”

City officials told Brooklyn Daily that there isn’t a standard criteria for approving loading zones, and each request is reviewed on a case‑by‑case basis.

Goustaro’s owner, Ted Moustakas, says he shares the zone with a neighboring deli and a pet store. He needs it because his delivery drivers were getting tickets for being double parked.

But Moustakas said he never realized that getting a loading zone for his store would be so controversial.

“I’m the new guy on the block,” he said. “I didn’t mean to start off on the wrong foot”

The city changed the sign on Wednesday, clearing everything up.
Community Newspaper Group / Dan MacLeod

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