State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. and Assembly Member Mike Miller are teaming up on state legislation to free up more parking spaces as a result of the newly-implemented Select Bus Service (SBS) program along the Cross Bay and Woodhaven Boulevards corridor.
“Since SBS went into effect on November 12th on Cross Bay and Woodhaven
Boulevards, many small businesses along these roadways have found that
nearby customer parking spaces have been sacrificed to the bus routes and
newly created bus stops,” said Addabbo (D-Kew Gardens, Kew Gardens Hills, Forest Hills, Rego Park, Elmhurst, Woodside, Middle Village, Maspeth, Glendale, Ridgewood, Ozone Park, South Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven, Howard Beach, Hamilton Beach, Broad Channel, The Rockaways).
“This directly impacts the economic health of our community and the local companies that are the foundation of our local business areas. If customers can’t get to these stores owing to an elimination of parking, they will certainly decide to
take their business elsewhere – therefore placing our stores in jeopardy,” the lawmaker added.
Under Addabbo’s plan, when parking is eliminated under an SBS or other
capital project, the City would be required to dedicate an equal number of
publicly available commercial or residential parking spots within a block
of the spaces that were lost. In addition, the City would be required to
hold a public hearing to solicit community input, and consider alternative
parking sites, prior to the elimination of any existing parking spaces.
“I worked with city legislation which required that alternate green space
must be found when parkland is taken for other uses,” said Addabbo, who was
the Chair of the City Council’s Committee on Parks and Recreation during
his tenure there. “If we can take action to prevent our rare green spaces
from being lost to development, we can also find a way to ensure that
customer access to our local merchants isn’t sacrificed to municipal
A frequent critic of many aspects of the SBS plan for Cross Bay and
Woodhaven Boulevards, Addabbo noted that critical parking spaces have been
eliminated that were directly in front of many local stores. “Unbelievably,
these spaces were taken away for the sole purpose of installing a bus lane
for a non-existent Saturday rush hour,” he said. “At some locations, the
spaces are unavailable 24 hours a day due to the new SBS bus stops, even
when already existing bus stops remain just a short distance away.”
Addabbo believes that when working on the need to provide better mass
transit options, such as more efficient bus service, the city must
carefully weigh the overall impacts the proposed measure has on the
residents of the host community.
“In addition to the potentially disastrous effect of SBS on local
businesses, I am also seeing greater vehicular congestion and am concerned
for the safety of pedestrians waiting on medians between traffic lanes,” he
said. “We need to continue urging the city to better address all of these
vital issues. When it comes to parking availability, the Administration
must be made to understand the need to give back what it takes away. Our
local businesses depend on customer foot traffic to succeed. The ‘No
parking, no customers, no local businesses’ formula is bad for our city and
Miller (D-Woodhaven, Ridgewood, Richmond Hill, Ozone Park, Glendale) is introducing the companion bill in the assembly.
“This bill is being introduced to address the growing concerns of my constituents regarding the loss of numerous parking spots. The SBS project and other capital projects have taken away much needed parking in our districts,” said Miller. “This bill will ensure that any future endeavors by New York City which affects parking will require the City to replace these spots at a suitable location in the same community.”