‘Zone’ zaniness ends

What a load! Ridgites mad over Fourth Avenue ‘No Parking’ zone
Photo by Bess Adler

City officials removed a controversial loading zone in front of the Goustaro Eatery on Fourth Avenue this week, ending months of complaints from residents and motorists who claimed that the “No Standing” signs were confusing and took up valuable parking spaces on the car-clogged commercial strip.

The city installed the signs near 93rd Street last November at the request of Goustaro owner Ted Moustakas, who said he needed a drop-off spot for his delivery trucks.

But it didn’t take long for the complaints to roll in: motorists said the “No Standing” notices contradicted older signs posted directly below them that permitted hourly parking. The Department of Transportation tweaked the signs — clearing up the confusion — in January, but locals still lamented the loss of precious parking spots.

The city ultimately decided to move the zone across the street, yet neighborhood legislators are hoping that no loading zones are installed on Fourth Avenue.

“We’re continuing to work with the Department of Transportation to find a place for a loading zone that’s appropriate for this area,” said John Quaglione, a spokesman for state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge). “It’s a major thoroughfare in a business district. To have someone take spots away and have people being issued tickets for parking [at the loading zone] is not right.”

Stan Lubowicki, a longtime local critic of the signs who uses the Harbor Gym across the street from the loading zone, was overjoyed at learning that the signs would be removed.

“It’s very good news for people who come into the neighborhood and do business over there,” Lubowicki said.

Lubowicki said that since the signs are still up, cars were getting tickets in front of Goustaro as recently as a week ago, even though the loading zone had been moved.

But Moustakas was indifferent to the loss of his loading zone when reached.

“It’s no skin off my back,” he said. “There was always cars parked in it and my trucks were forced to double park anyway.