Muni-Meters added to part of Bay Ridge, residents furious

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CeFaan Kim has the story.

A community in Brooklyn suddenly found itself stiffed out of free parking on its streets when the city added more meters in Bay Ridge.

But just as a backlash to the move started to pick up speed, the city offered a compromise to help put the brakes on the growing frustration.

For Bay Ridge residents living on 3rd and 4th Avenues, cars lined up and down the block double parked is an all too common sight.

That's why a few weeks ago; Muni-Meters have been popping up.

But also going up is the blood pressure among those who miss that free parking.

"The city robs you, rob you that's it. Rob you everywhere. Everywhere. You got a penny the city wants to take it," a resident said.

The meters though were requested by local merchants, who complain without them, residents occupy spots for a week at a time.

So meters mean more turnover.

"Customers have a problem. They don't know where to park but they take a chance at times. Sometimes they get a ticket," said Ansy Menzes, a business owner.

But community leaders say DOT made the changes without local input and that created a unique problem.

Of the half a dozen blocks or so that got metered parking, all of those spots sit in front of a business on the ground level, except for three spots, which have only homes.

Pat Bellone lives in front of one of these spots.

"There's no way to park during the day and people are at work. So at night to come at 8 o'clock and look for a spot, you're driving around for an hour, an hour," Bellone said.

"Muni-Meters should be restricted to the commercial district so the overlay is to where the stores are. I think that when they're in front of residential properties it becomes a bit of an issue who live in those homes," said Josephine Beckmann, Community Board 10.

Councilmember Vincent Gentile says the good news is that the DOT appears to be ready to correct this blind spot.

Meanwhile, he's co-sponsoring legislation that would require the city to do more than just notify the community of changes like this.

"There was no real input where we could have a discussion. This bill would require them to have a discussion with us about the meters before the decision is made to actually put them in," said Vincent Gentile, a New York City Council Member.

Officials hope that will help cool some tempers.

But this is New York, so when it comes to parking you won't make everyone happy.
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