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Flushing parking lot rates to increase by 50 percent

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Municipal parking lots, the lifeblood of many businesses in Flushing and College Point, are about to get more expensive.

The rates on five lots in the two communities, as well as in municipal lots and other meters across the city, are going to increase between now and the end of June, said Lisi de Bourbon, a spokeswoman for the city Department of Transportation.

Currently 25 cents for a stay of one-half hour, the rates are going to increase to 25 cents for 20 minutes, in what comes out to a 50 percent hike.

“The rate increases are part of the whole initiative to try to close the budget gap,” de Bourbon said.

“It’s a fairly minor one, but enough that it would make a dent,” she said.

All 47 municipal lots across New York City will have the same rate increase, de Bourbon said.

Cars often wait in long lines for a spot to become available in any one of the four parking lots on weekdays in downtown Flushing, a community whose development is regulated for the most part by parking laws.

In College Point, businesses also are dependent on the lot to provide their customers with parking.

“It’s absolutely necessary in order to maintain businesses,” said Sabina Cardali, president of the College Point Civic Taxpayers Association and TimesLedger columnist. “It’s usually full in the middle of the day.”

The rate change came as a surprise to Marilyn Bitterman, district manager of Community Board 7, which covers Flushing and College Point.

“It would have been nice to know,” Bitterman said. “Normally they would reach out to us and at least give us the courtesy of saying what is going on.”

The locations of the lots are as follows:

Flushing Lot 1: (the largest municipal lot in Northeast Queens): Union Street between 37th and 39th Avenues.

Flushing Lot 2: Prince Street between 38th and 39th Avenues.

Flushing Lot 3: 41st Avenue between Main Street and College Point Boulevard.

Flushing Lot 4: Underneath the Northern Boulevard ramp, off College Point Boulevard.

College Point Lot: College Point Boulevard and 14th Avenue.

Reach reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300 Ext. 141.

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