Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Speaking of Parking

There's an excellent lengthy piece about Austin Street parking in this week's little known Queens Ledger. It talks about parking problems for the business owners.

Money Quote from the owner of Jacklyn’s (one of the truly nice clothing stores on Austin Street):

"The problem with parking on Austin Street is an easy one to fix," he explained. "They should just make it a one-way street, like they do in Manhattan. By keeping it as a two-way street, they are doubling congestion and doubling double-parking. I don’t know why they wouldn’t do that."

It was ideas like these that DOT was looking for at November’s congestion workshop, held just off of Austin Street at the Forest Hills Jewish Center. The meeting, which was, to put it generously, sparsely attended, was primarily made up of politicians and community leaders, with few actual storeowners or residents represented. When asked if they had heard of the previous meeting or the upcoming DOT meeting, most storeowners were surprised to learn about it.

It isn't the first time One-Way on Austin Street has been addressed. In our "Ask Leslie" segment a few months ago, Leslie Brown said that the DOT after a study a few years back decided it wasn't viable. I'd be okay with a one-way Austin Street, if they replaced the other lane with a bike lane and wider sidewalks. Not just to make it easier to drive down.

I've never seen a "Full" sign in front of any Forest Hills garage in all my years living here, so I can't take the parking problem too seriously for our visitors. It's not that Forest Hills doesn't have parking, it's that visitors don't want to pay for it.