Feb. 10, 2013 By Christian Murray
Several Long Island City residents expressed their opposition to a proposed plan to introduce alternate-side-of-the-street parking and NYC street cleaning, at a public meeting Thursday night.
The opponents, who spoke at the Community Board 2 meeting in Sunnyside, said the plan would lead to excessive pollution as cars would circle the streets waiting for the alternate-side-of-the-street parking period to end.
They also complained about the noise coming from those vehicles in addition to Dept. of Sanitation trucks.
Other speakers said that many residents work during the day and are unable to move their vehicles, adding that paying for parking is prohibitively expensive.
They also claimed that property owners are already required to clean the sidewalk and 18 inches on to the street and that the Dept. of Sanitation should enforce that.
City officials put forward a proposal introducing alternate-side-of-the-street parking regulations following a series of requests from residents. In January, at a public meeting at PS1, detailed plans were presented calling for alternate-side-of-the-street parking—between 45th and Borden Avenues (west of Jackson Street) to enable street cleaning.
The Dept. of Sanitation said that street cleaning would take place on Wednesday or Thursday depending on the street (click here for previous story) if the proposal went into effect.
Many of its supporters had been calling for the measure for years–claiming the streets had been filled with litter, waste and unsightly garbage. They started an online petition Oct. 1 that has generated 435 signatures.
Janet Belden, who was one of the seven speakers who spoke Thursday in opposition to the proposal, suggested a compromise: street cleaning once a month. “Everyone wins,” she said. “The streets get cleaned and everyone is only inconvenienced once a month.”
Belden, however, said there are many trash problems that need to be addressed. She said the lack of trash cans contributes to the garbage and that she often sees “trash overloads falling onto the street.”
Doreen Dwyer, who has been organizing the opposition, said that a counter petition was created two months ago when she first heard about the proposal. She said “We would like a fair chance to be heard,” adding that she needs a similar amount of time to get her petition going as the advocates for street cleaning have had.
Dwyer’s online petition has generated 215 signatures since it began on January 17.
There were no speakers in support of the proposal Thursday—although several turned out for the January meeting at PS1.
Joe Conley, chairman of Community Board 2, said that the proposal was “still up for discussion” and there was no deadline or timeline as to its approval or implementation. He said the proposal was “strictly community driven…and it was not the Department of Sanitation aiming to collect revenue.”