The 115th Precinct wrote 46,077 parking tickets in 2007, an 18 percent increase from the 38,908 written in 2006. By comparison, Manhattan's bustling Midtown South Precinct around Penn Station up to Times Square recorded 43,331 parking summonses issued last year.Officers from the 115th wrote more tickets than the entire borough of Staten Island, which issued 38,088 last year.The precinct accounted for 13.5 percent of all parking summonses written in Queens in 2007.In Jackson Heights, where residents have long complained about parking problems, one civic group said the new year may bring even more violations. Will Sweeney, founder of the Western Jackson Heights Alliance, said the city Department of Transportation's removal of the loading zone on the east side of 73rd Street north of 37th Avenue will add to the problem of double-parking cars and delivery trucks."There's nowhere for trucks and cars to load and unload," he said. "By taking away one of the last two loading zones in that intersection, the only thing that's going to happen is people are going to stop in the middle of the street to unload."A DOT spokesman said a private citizen contacted the agency about adding parking meters to the street. The loading zone was used by the C-Town grocery store that formerly stood at the corner, but the Duane Reade pharmacy now occupying the location told the DOT it was not using the loading zone, the spokesman said.A spokesman for Duane Reade declined to comment for this article.Sweeney said parking meters are not the answer to the traffic problem because many local merchants use them to park their own cars, feeding the meter all day long.He cited a 2003 study from the nonpartisan group Transportation Alternatives that showed that 26 percent of the meters on 37th Avenue from 73rd Street to 76th Street were being fed during weekdays.When told about complaints of parking meter abuse, the DOT said the issue was a law-enforcement problem.At an October 2007 meeting with the alliance, Capt. Christopher Tamola, executive officer of the 115th Precinct, told residents the borough chief directed him to write more tickets, but said other crimes take precedence over traffic issues."You can't engineer volume away," Tamola said. "The roads were not built to handle all these cars."Sweeney said the 115th has been responsive when he and his neighbors complain."You immediately see police out there," he said. "You complain and then that weekend it's a huge surge."But Sweeney said enforcement is only part of the problem. He said the DOT should replace the old meters with muni-meters, which make it harder for motorists to park longer than the legal time limit.The DOT spokesman said muni-meters are installed area by area, and the meters in Jackson Heights have not yet been slated for replacement.Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at jwalsh@tim
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