Parking changes in Crown Heights retail zone
by Patrick Kearns
Aug 02, 2016 | 3677 views | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Elected and city officials join business leaders to announce new parking regulations designed at encouraging shopping in Crown Heights.
Elected and city officials join business leaders to announce new parking regulations designed at encouraging shopping in Crown Heights.
slideshow
A sample of the new parking regulations with the elimination of the truck loading zone.
A sample of the new parking regulations with the elimination of the truck loading zone.
slideshow
Shoppers and businesses in Crown Heights dogged by lack of parking and confusing regulations are getting some relief thanks to the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Nostrand Avenue Merchants Association.

“We're here to announce that the community concerns about adding additional metered parking on Nostrand Avenue between Empire Boulevard and Parkside Avenue were heard,” said Brooklyn DOT Commissioner Keith Bray.

In November 2015, the Nostrand Avenue Merchants Association reached out to the city to express concern about the number of truck loading zones on the commercial strip.

“Last fall, we canvassed the avenue along with our elected officials to hear the concerns of our businesses, and we heard overwhelming concerns about the parking regulations,” said association vice president Pia Raymond. “The stringent parking regulations impeded customer parking, and did not create ease for shopping on the avenue.”

Business owners agreed, explaining that the difficulty of parking definitely hurts business.

“We were incurring many tickets,” said Danii Oliver of House of Juice. “We literally had people walk in frantic. We were losing business on a regular basis in the very beginning.”

Little Mo Wine and Spirits owner Mark Schwartz said he was happy to see a city so dedicated to both public transportation and safety of the community.

“I'm a small business owner and I'm also a resident of the neighborhood,” Schwartz said. “I'm really excited that there's going to be a change that's going to make Nostrand Avenue safer, as well as more convenient.

Problems first arose when Select Bus Service was added to Nostrand Avenue, which coincided with the implementation of truck loading zones. Using cameras, DOT realized the truck loading zones were being underutilized.

In April, DOT presented their findings to the association and began to implement changes. Bray encouraged other business associations facing similar issues to reach out to DOT.

While many of the issues happened to coincide with the implementation of Select Bus Service, DOT also celebrated the success of the service since it launched, reporting a 10 percent increase in ridership from 2014 to 2015 and lowering travel times by as much as 31 percent.
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