Last-minute no parking zone angers merchants

You’ve seen them around. Pastel slips of paper taped to signpoles and parking meters declaring in big bold letters that betweenthis time and that time, you are not allowed to park anywhere onthe street.

Usually, the flyers arrive at least 48-hours before the scheduledshut-down, as mandated by city regulations. But sometimes thatdoesn’t happen, as business owner Arlene Rutuelo discovered lastweek.

I was surprised when I started seeing the cones and signs with no[prior] notification at all, said Rutuelo, a co-owner at theNordic Deli, at Bay Ridge Avenue and Third Avenue, where theNo-Parking signs appeared on Wednesday morning, declaring ThirdAvenue off-limits from 4 p.m. on June 1 – that same day – through11 p.m. on Thursday, June 2.

The signs said that the spaces were being reserved for productionof HBO’s show, How To Make It In America. In addition to astretch of Third Avenue between 71st Street and 68th Street,parking was off-limits on Ridge Boulevard between Senator Streetand 67th Street.

According to the mayor’s press office, last minute productionpermits were granted for Owl’s Head Park.

It upset me because it changes everything for us last-minute interms of deliveries and customers. In my business, I get a lot ofcustomers who drive from throughout the tri-state area, saidRutuelo, who called Community Board 10 in search of answers. Weare a resilient group here in Bay Ridge and if we had gotten propernotification from the mayor’s office, we could have made changes toour workday. There is a process. At least notify us.

Even with complaints coming in, the community board doesn’t haveany influence on where and to whom the city grants parking permits,said Josephine Beckmann, CB 10’s district manager. New No-Parkingsigns were put up again in the same areas at around noon onTuesday, June 7, banning parking by non-film-crew trucks for 24hours.

To Rutuelo, the parking reservations were worthless since peoplecleared off for 24-hours, but not one truck or film crew parkedthere, adding that you feel like you’re banging a head againstthe wall and small businesses not valued in the city.

It’s a big problem and one that has left many merchants frustratedbecause it does impact their business, impact on parking, saidBeckmann. But, she added, The short answer is, there’s little thatcan be done. The [city] views this as money making and a goodthing. The community board only reviews street activity permits andstreet closures.

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