Today’s news:

Facelift to start Tuesday at Flushing parking area

The hectic fight for a parking spot in downtown Flushing is about to get a little more difficult.

On May 28, the city Department of Transportation will begin work on Flushing 3, the second largest municipal parking in the downtown area, said DOT spokesman Keith Kalb. The lot is located on 41st Avenue just west of Main Street.

The work, scheduled to last three or four weeks, will completely rehabilitate the lot. It will get new pavement and a new fence, and the meters will be replaced, Kalb said.

The Flushing lot is one of several municipal parking spots in the city scheduled for work. Bayside’s 41st Avenue lot just off Bell Boulevard also will be repaired.

“It’s part of an initiative to rehabilitate the parking lots that are in the worst shape,” said Kalb.

To minimize the effect on parking in the area, only half of the 157-spot lot will be worked on at any one time, said Kalb.

The lot is one of four municipal parking areas in the downtown Flushing area. The second largest of the four, the lot is dwarfed by Flushing 1, which sits on Union Street between 37th and 39th avenues.

The renovations, however, come in tandem with a steep increase in parking rates. The city is raising rates in all its municipal lots from 25 cents for a half hour to 25 cents for 20 minutes, a jump of 50 percent. All of the city’s lots should have the new rates by the end of June, the DOT has indicated.

The extensive repairs to the lot are necessary, Kalb said.

“Many people may be concerned with the loss of parking spots, but believe me it will be beneficial in the long run when we have new paved lots for Flushing commuters,” said Kalb.

Fred Fu, president of the Flushing Chinese Business Association, said the closure of half of the lot would be painful, but he agreed that the work was necessary.

“[Businesses] will be hurt,” he said. “But if they want to do something, they should do something. Four weeks is OK. We can manage.”

Fu added that trying to park in the environs of 41st Avenue during the projected four weeks would be “a disaster.”

Drivers looking for alternative lots can head to Flushing 2 on Prince Street between 38th and 39th avenues or Flushing 4, located underneath the Northern Boulevard ramp at College Point Boulevard, in addition to the large Flushing 1 lot on Union Street.

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

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