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Several borough streets lose free Sunday parking

From the rapidly diminishing list of things in life that are free, cross off Sunday parking in several heavily traveled parts of western Queens.

The city Department of Transportation is hoping to generate an additional $1 million while easing congestion in some of the city’s busiest areas by demanding that motorists feed the meter on Sundays. Affected areas, which include 5,029 metered parking spaces in Queens, will receive new signs with the words “including Sunday” prominently displayed.

According to the DOT, the changes have already been made in areas of western Queens, including Astoria, Long Island City, Glendale, Ridgewood, Maspeth and Middle Village. The entire project is expected to be completed by June 30.

The effort follows Sunday parking initiatives in parts of Manhattan as well as downtown Brooklyn.

“From our standpoint, using the meters on a Sunday is helpful to business, because they improve circulation of cars and give people better access to do the kind of in-and-out shopping associated with mom-and-pop stores,” said Tom Cocola, a DOT spokesman. “Therefore, we’ve chosen some busy Sunday areas in other parts of Manhattan as well as Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx to expand upon this initiative. It is a win-win for businesses and the city.”

But not necessarily for motorists. The department indicated that traffic officers would begin ticketing violators as soon as the new signs are in place, with no grace period.

George Delis, district manager of Community Board 1 covering Astoria and Long Island City, was almost caught by surprise by the new regulations Sunday as he ate lunch in an Astoria diner.

Midway through his meal, he realized he had not put coins in the meter where he had parked, on 31st Street near 23rd Avenue.

“I told everyone in the restaurant, ‘You better pay your meters,’” Delis recounted. “Everyone in the room got up.”

Areas in Queens where Sunday meter parking is slated to take effect include:

•    Greenpoint and Roosevelt Avenues in Long Island City and parts of Sunnyside

•    Jamaica Avenue from 144th to 172nd Streets

•    Queens Boulevard and spurs north of Austin Street

•    Hillside Avenue from 139th Street to Edgerton Boulevard

•    Myrtle Avenue from Linden Street to Forest Avenue

•    Roosevelt Avenue from Junction Boulevard to 72nd Street and 37th Avenue from 72nd Street to Warren Street

•    Queens Boulevard from 62nd Street to 70th Avenue and spurs

•    Ditmars Boulevard near 31st and Steinway Streets

•    Roosevelt Avenue and spurs near 52nd and 70th Streets

•    Jamaica Avenue from 213th to 224th Streets

•    Northern Boulevard from Queens Plaza to 58th Street

•    Metropolitan Avenue from 73rd to 80th Places

Reach reporter Alex Ginsberg by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 157.

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