The streets surrounding the 62nd Police Precinct are so jammed with cars that it’s hard for cops to find parking spaces when they arrive to begin a busy shift of protecting local residents from crime, according to Community Board 11 officials, who are trying to help the officers.
Board 11 Chairperson William Guarinello said his members are sympathetic to the cops’ plight. “They’re in a tough position,” he said at the community board’s June 14 meeting at the Bensonhurst Center for Rehabilitation and Health, 1740 84th St.
Guarinello said the community board will soon be sending a letter to the New York Police Department asking the NYPD to scout the area around the precinct for possible sites for off-street parking for cops, Guarinello said.
There are several reasons parking spots are hard to come by, according to community board leaders.
The precinct is located at 1925 Bath Ave. “Bath Avenue is already congested,” Guarinello said.
The station house sits across the street from the Muslim American Society Youth Center located at 1933 Bath Ave., and parents and staff members park their cars on the side street of Bay 22nd Street, just as the cops do.
In addition, P.S. 200 is located at 1940 Benson Ave., a block away from the precinct. Teachers park their cars near the school.
All of this adds up to a serious shortage of parking spaces, according to Guarinello.
While parking problems persist in Bath Beach and Bensonhurst, a new pilot program championed by the city will be removing parking spaces from residents and handing those spaces over to car share programs.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg announced the pilot program on May 31.
Under the experiment, 309 parking spots around the five boroughs will dedicated to cars in car share programs like Zipcar and Enterprise CarShare.
The vast majority, 285 parking spaces, will be at on-street locations and at municipal parking lots operated by the Department of Transportation. The other 24 spaces dedicated to Zipcar autos will be set aside at New York City Housing Authority sites.
Through car sharing, drivers can gain access to a car for short-term uses, usually just a few hours. Car share companies participating in the city’s pilot program will be offering round-trip service with drivers taking the cars and returning them later to the same location.
“For the first time ever, the city is setting aside dedicated parking spots to expand access to car share programs,” de Blasio said in a statement.
The mayor sought to emphasize that car share programs are important to the environment.
“For every vehicle in a car share program, up to 20 households can forgo the need to own a car, fighting congestion and making our air cleaner. We’re also bringing more car share options to NYCHA residents to help them get around, so we can continue building the fairest big city in America,” he stated.
Trottenberg said the program will prove to be valuable because it can be implemented in different types of urban settings.
“First, in transit-rich neighborhoods where cars are only driven occasionally, we think inexpensive and convenient car share could encourage owners to sell their car or not buy a new one, thereby freeing up more parking for drivers who need it. And in less-transit dense neighborhoods, car share could add a travel option for car-free households or those who may now find car ownership unaffordable,” she stated.
Marnee Elias-Pavia, district manager of Community Board 11, said Bensonhurst is slated for six of the dedicated parking spaces in the pilot program. Four spots will be reserved for Zipcars at the municipal parking lot 1763 86th St. and another two will be in the municipal lot at 1 Bay 26th St., she said.